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23 And Me

Doctors and the FDA want me to go blind.

There's a 1-in-4 chance that I will go blind. Macular degeneration occurs in many people over 50, and thus in a couple of decades, it's going to impact me. I'm also at a higher-than-average risk for glaucoma. I know about my disease risk because of a valuable service, 23 And Me.

23 And Me has analyzed the correlation between genotypes and diseases. Why do people with my genotype face a higher risk of eye diseases? No one knows, yet, but the correlations are undeniable. (I have especially blue eyes, which is part of the problem.)

Using this information, I'm zealous about wearing sun glasses, taking fish oil, and eat blueberries. I also regularly follow developments in macular degeneration research, looking for other ways to mitigate the disease.

Here, incidentally, is a screen cap from my 23 And Me profile:  23 And Me Disease Risk

Yet the Food and Drug Administration, which ostensibly exists to protect publich health, wants to outlaw 23 And Me. Doctors and the American Medical Associate have lobbied the FDA for 23 And Me's demise:

We urge the Panel to offer clear findings and recommendations that genetic testing, except under the most limited circumstances, should be carried out under the personal supervision of a qualified health care professional, and provide individuals interested in obtaining genetic testing access to qualified health care professionals for further information.

Why would they want to deny me low-cost access to my genetic information? 23 And Me does not give medical advice. Instead, they have merely educating me about my risks. 

They want me to go blind. Well, that's only half-right. They'll let me keep my eyesight if I line their pockets. Otherwise, doctors don't care.


Unethical Lawyering is Not a Crime

A man who chained someone to his basement wall would be viewed as a monster, and threatened with the death penalty. When that man is a prosecutor who frames an innocent citizen, however, we don't care:

I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row. I’ve been free since 2003, exonerated after evidence covered up by prosecutors surfaced just weeks before my execution date. Those prosecutors were never punished. Last month, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to overturn a case I’d won against them and the district attorney who oversaw my case, ruling that they were not liable for the failure to turn over that evidence — which included proof that blood at the robbery scene wasn’t mine.

Police and prosecutors framed the man. You say this is shocking, but why? Prosecutors and police - just like you and me - have deadlines. They have dockets. Police and prosecutors are not Sherlock Holmes, who always searches for the truth - which means only convicting the right man. No, like all petty bureaucrats, prosecutors care about only one thing - clearing their dockets. "Just get this case closed," is their first marching order. "Let the jury figure it out," is how they rationalize their evilness. 

And there's no doubt that prosecutors knew they were chaining an innocent man to prison walls:

The same day that my lawyers visited, an investigator they had hired to look through the evidence one last time found, on some forgotten microfiche, a report sent to the prosecutors on the blood type of the perpetrator of the armed robbery. It didn’t match mine; the report, hidden for 15 years, had never been turned over to my lawyers. The investigator later found the names of witnesses and police reports from the murder case that hadn’t been turned over either.

All along, the prosecutors knew they were sending an innocent man to death row. Why isn't that a crime? Not only have prosecutors avoiding criminal charges, they have also avoided civil liability and professional punishment.

The prosecutors involved in my two cases, from the office of the Orleans Parish district attorney, Harry Connick Sr., helped to cover up 10 separate pieces of evidence. And most of them are still able to practice law today.

A friend of mine called the New York Times column "shocking." Yet it's not shocking - not even a little. I blog less about prosecutorial misconduct than before because it's banal

In Kalina v. Fletcher, 522 U.S. 188 (1997), a Washington state prosecutor, Lynne Kalina, under oath, misstated material facts in a probable cause hearing. Both the National District Attorneys' Association and United States Department of Justice filed an amicus briefs on her behalf. Lynne Kalina, the scumbag prosecutor, was never punished for lying under oath.

In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, two Iowa prosecutors framed an innocent man. Rather than prosecutor the prosecutors, the United States Department of Justice filed an amicus brief supporting them. The National District Attorneys' Association - the "conscience of the community" - also filed a brief on their behalf.

When a courageous California lawyer, Scott Drexel, was appointed as Chief Disciplinary Counsel to the California State Bar, he tried to change the system. He went after unethical prosecutors. What happened to Drexel? The California State Bar - the body charged with regulating lawyers - refused to reappoint him:

SAN FRANCISCO - The State Bar Board of Governors decided this week not to reappoint Scott Drexel, the head of the bar's prosecution unit who had sparked controversy by tightening rules governing attorneys.

Drexel also raised hackles in the law enforcement community by going after several well-known prosecutors for misconduct, including Santa Clara County prosecutor Benjamin Field. Accused of offenses including withholding exculpatory evidence, which Field's supporters were quick to point out involved cases more than a decade old, Field ended up having his license suspended for four years.

Every day prosecutors frame people. Every day prosecutors get away with it. Every day someone innocent will go to prison. Anyone who tries changing the system will lose his job.

The only thing preventing you from being framed is luck and a lack of powerful enemies.


Another Day, Another Video

It's 2 a.m. and you're leaving a bar, minding your own business, when a police officer violently approaches. What should you do?

There's no right answer to the question. If you fight back, you'll go to prison. Why? Because you same fucks who complain about police misconduct, when sitting as jurors, suck cock dick. "Guilty," you'll vote, everytime.

Instead, you just take the beating. Even then, you might be charged with a crime:

A San Francisco police officer caught on videotape in 2008 telling a black Army veteran to “get out of the street, boy” has been fired from the department, sources said.

In a police report, [officer Paul] Morgado claimed Haynes was “extremely intoxicated, exhibited a strong odor of alcoholic beverage” and “came towards” Morgado in an “aggressive manner,” according to the civil complaint.

 Thankfully the victim didn't have to rely on you for vindication. He had a video: 

But unbeknownst to Morgado, Haynes’ partner, DJ Kool Kuts, had been recording the whole thing. The video shows Morgado charging Haynes “like a schoolboy in a schoolyard,” the complaint says.

If there hadn't been a video and you had been sitting on a jury, how would you have voted? In a he-said-he-said case involving police and ordinary citizens, you'd have voted guilty.

Sure, it's fun to talk about police misconduct, and to say that police are often no different from criminals. Yet when it matters, when you have the chance to make a difference, when you have the power to vote not guilty: You won't. You'll suck the same cock dick the same as everyone else. Yet when it's rammed down your throat, suddenly you'll expect me to care.

Although caught on tape in 2008, the cop was only fired today, in 2011. Although he fabricated evidence against an innocent citizen and lied in a police report, the cop has not been charged with obstruction of justice, falsifying government records, or perjury.

Those who enforce the law are allowed to break it. Why? Again, it's your fault.

If I were a juror in a case alleging police misconduct, I'd side with the citizen every time. Why? Because how many tens-of-thousands of videos do we have of police perjury? How many hundreds-of-thousands of cases do we have of unpunished police misconduct?

Why should I ever take a police officer at his word? Why should you?

There is a way to end police misconduct. If called to jury duty, discredit the police officer's testimony immediately. Simply disregard it as a lie. 

Until you take back the courts by acting as responsible jurors, police misconduct will only get worse. Because judges, prosecutors, and other police routinely cover up and excuse police perjury. That leaves only you.


Haters Gonna Hate

"He is a one-man monument to patriarchy and an adolescent view of life. No thanks, Mike; I will stick with the women who have the good sense to read trash while working up a sweat, while you go read Dostoyevsky on the ellipticals." - Nameless dreg.

Note the blog's new tagline, and have a nice day.

Haters-gonna-hate


Links

"Professors should dress like professionals." In the current generational wars, we always hear old guys complain about students wearing flip-flops. We never seem to hear Boomers say that professionals who expect to receive respect by virtue of their station, should respect their own station through proper dress. If old guys want respect for the "kids," then the old guys should act respectably. Basic logic.

A San Diego law professor responds to the article, observing professors can't afford to dress like big firm lawyers. That's only true if you keep gaining weight. California has excellent outlet malls. I got some nice Brooks Brothers suits during law school for $375 each, and they still look great. I picked up an Armani for $600, and it remains boss. Suits are only expensive if you get fatter every year, and so the problem is not with the cost of the suits: The problem is with the gullet. Being fat - when measured in health care costs and lost productivity - is far more expensive than a suit. So there are many reasons to stay or get trim.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker became a conservative hero when he started busting unions. "Fiscal reform!" Governor Walker has been exposed a piece of shit:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed Monday that Walker promoted the son of a major campaign donor to a cushy job in Wisconsin's Department of Commerce. Brian Deschane, a 27-year old college dropout, now earns $81,500 a year overseeing environmental regulation, despite an apparent lack of experience (and a few DUI convictions).

Hilarious and yet another data point supporting the, "America is doomed hypothesis."

Speaking of shit, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger makes a good point. How much is a movie ticket and box of popcorn? Answer: Much less than an entire month's worth of a New York Times online subscription. (UPDATE: The print version is $42, which I'm reliably informed is greater than the cost of a date night at the movies.) Yet the monkeys spittle out bits of chewed styrofoam when asked to pay for a subscription.

I rarely read the Times and hope they go bankrupt. Yet the, "How dare you expect us to pay for information" attitude has grown tiring.


How to Warm a Nihilist's Heart

Far more enjoyable than watching baseball or football is watching destruction. Not all destruction is the most enjoyable past time, for although something of a nihilist, satisfaction only comes when there's a moral breach. When a person harms a dog or a child, there is sadness. When a person harms himself because of foolishness, there is pleasure. And so I study feminism to witness behavior like this:

A Toronto cop who warned women that dressing like sluts can attract sexual assault was reprimanded and underwent “further training,” Chief Bill Blair said Sunday.

I can hear the men's rights crowd howl! "But the cop was right, Mike. The world is a dangerous place for men and women. It's not right that one must take reasonable precautions to avoid assaults of all sorts. Yet one should. I can't believe that feminism would demand sending a person to brainwashing camp for speaking the truth." 

While all that is true, outrage isn't good for your soul. The battles for sanity and civilization have been lost, and you can either go through life with high blood pressure, or you can relax and enjoy the show. And what a show it is:

The constable’s comment sparked outrage, prompting more than 1,500 protesters to stage a “SlutWalk” Sunday from Queen’s Park to police headquarters on College St.

Women have convinced themselves that being sluts is empowering. Most women who have actually slutted it up for years don't feel that way. Women, less so than men, regret meaningless sex. Sluts

Yet one could logically explain to women that being a slut it bad for their health. It's not simply an issue of moral judgment, as I'm amoral. There is nothing morally wrong with letting four guys run a train on you. Nevertheless, you will feel disgusted with yourself afterwards.

Moreover, pair bonding is harder for sluts. A woman who has had more than ten sexual partners doesn't have a high release of oxytocin - the chemical that bonds women to their lovers. Having a lot of sex makes it harder to fall in love. That's empowering?

I have explained these biological facts to women. My reward has been to be labelled a misogynist and a moralist. Now I preach lies for humor.

"Isn't it horrible that women are called sluts for doing the same thing men do," I say. "A woman should send her 20's having as many sexual partners as possible. She can settle down as she approaches 30." Those are dastardly lies, and yet women love hearing them.

Even Sherlock Holmes, the great detective on an neverending search for the truth, would agree with my approach: "If I tell her she will not believe me. You may remember the old Persian saying, 'There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.'"


Don't Mess With My Sleep

There are two groups of people who annoy me - those who claim they have photographic memories and those who claim they don't "need" much sleep. There have been about a dozen cases of photographic memories. If you're not in a book somewhere, you have a good memory. It is not, however, photographic.

People who claim to not need much sleep also piss me off. People who get tired during the day, and have baggy eyes and non-supple skin and are fat need more sleep. They just live in a constant state of sleep deprivation. In the U.S., not sleeping is macho. If that's how someone wants to live, cool. But I am going to get as much as possible. If this means I'm "boring" by falling asleep at 9 p.m., oh well.

There are, however, some people who actually don't need much sleep. This is the first thing all year that made me jealous:

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural "short sleepers," as they're officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

That is amazing, and if that is you, then I am jealous of you. However, you are likely not one of those non-sleeping elite, but instead are delusional and slowing killing yourself.

Out of every 100 people who believe they only need five or six hours of sleep a night, only about five people really do, Dr. Buysse says. The rest end up chronically sleep deprived, part of the one-third of U.S. adults who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to a report last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data like that continues to crack me up. A full 95% of people are delusional, and yet I bet 75% of you will read that article and nod your head, "That's totally me!" There's a five-percent chance you're not killing yourself slowly, but narcissism drives us to view ourselves as part of the 5% exception rather than the 95% who fall under the rule.

Speaking of sleep, the comments are interesting. Here's a typical view:

It's hard to believe that only 1/3 of US adults are chronically sleep deprived. Who actually gets 7 hours per night to sleep? There aren't 7 hours left in the day of most people, one the 12 or 13 hours at the office, one hour of commuting each way, an hour to get ready in the morning, an hour to cook/eat, and an hour to do necessary chores and get ready for bed, plus the time needed to actually fall asleep. As soon as one has to work extra, go to a store, gets delayed in traffic, or has any other demand on their time, it can only come out of sleep time.

Stop doing chores. I'm serious. My place right now is a mess.

Sleep is linked to every measure of physical and cognitive health. I'm not going to lose sleep because there are clothes all over the place. I'll clean up when I have time - which means when sleep is not calling.

Yet how many little minds can't rest until banal "chores" are complete?  Does it matter that I have a full hamper of laundry? Sure, a little...I guess. Yet measured against the need for sleep, the laundry is a trivial concern. Why would I risk my health and well-being on a comparatively unimportant task?

Thus, many people are sleep deprived because they lack the cognitive function to recognize what matters and what doesn't. This becomes a vicious cycle, and fatigue makes a person even less capable of recognizing what truly matters.

If you have a legitimate sleep disorder, that sucks. If you're not getting enough sleep because you're watching television (which fucks with natural melatonin cycles) or because you can't focus your mind away from small tasks, then seek the help you desperately need.

I am a fan of cheesy self-help books, and these two (from the article's comment section) seem interesting:

There is a great book I just read from Amazon.com called, "I Can Make You Sleep", if you have a sleep disorder from shift-work or stress. It is pretty helpful. Another good medical book I just read is "Stories from the Emergency Department", which talks alot about people who work weird shifts, also on Amazon.

In college I used a self-hypnotic CD to help me start falling asleep. Getting quality sleep is probably the most important thing you can do for your health, and it should be prioritized accordingly. 


Links

Banks regularly launder money for drug cartels. When Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) laundered $400 billion in drug money, federal prosecutor Jeffrey Sloman communicated to the world, "When I leave the Departmnet of Justice, I want to have Wells Fargo as a client. Thus, I am not going to prosecute any of the bankers who banked their bonuses with blood money. Instead, I will force the bank's shareholders to give back 1% of its money-laundering-related profits."

"Life in the Cubicle Village."

Think your job is tough?

Joseph Rakofsky's fraud and incompetence raises a serious question of legal ethics. Shouldn't someone so incompetent be suspended from the practice of law? Why does the State Bar focus on client trust account issues to the exclusion of lawyer competence? Far more lawyers ruin clients' lives through incomptence than theft. Yet the Bar doesn't seem to care if lawyers are actually, well, lawyers.

Speaking of Joseph Rakofsky: He tried his first murder case. He was so incompetent that the trial court ordered a mistrial. In other words, the client was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial due to attorney incompetence. Joseph Rakofsky posted to his Facebook profile, "Mistrial," implying that it was his skill rather than incompetence that lead to the mistrial. Here's a screen capture of the little snake.

Mistrial due to incompetence

 

 

 

Republicans support welfare - corporate welfare, anyway. The problem with Republicans (and Democrats) is you. You'll all say, "I hate the two-party system." Yet an audit of your voting would reveal loyalty to one party. If you hate the system, why not vote for a third party candidate? Of course you can't vote for a third party because then the other party (lesser of two evils, or something, you'll say) would win. Yet when the other side does win, you say, "Nothing changes. They are all the same." If that is true, then your party loyalty is illogical to the point of retardation.

Snakes in Suits is a book about "when psychopaths go to work." Here's a Harvard Business School fashion show. Can you spot the snakes? (Hint: They all are.)