Thursday, June 29, 2017

The State is God. Little Charlie Must Die.

This is disturbing. More than disturbing.

Here is the story.

According to the Daily Mail, young Charlie Gard must be killed rather than be taken to the United States to undergo a last attempt at saving his life.

In a nutshell, Charlie Gard was diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome at the age of eight weeks old. He was only the 16th person in the world to have this diagnosis, and it has required him to be in a children's hospital in London since September of 2016. There is currently no known cure or treatment for this condition.

Desperate, the parents found a doctor in the United States who was willing to offer their son a trial therapy. The parents started a Go Fund Me account and raised $1.6 million in order to transport little Charlie by air ambulance to the States and fully pay for the procedure. All the hospital had to do was release the child so the parents could take him to the U.S. and see if this trial would help him.

But the hospital refused, and the parents were forced to take their rights as parents before the High Court, where the judge decided the parents must just let the child "die with dignity" and allow the hospital to remove him from life support. But the parents are not allowed to remove the child from the hospital.

The parents then appealed to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the High Court judge's ruling of killing the child instead of allowing him to leave the country with his parents to seek help in the U.S.

Matt Walsh wrote about this, and I really like his analysis of what is happening. Read it here. But I feel that he missed one vital point as to why the courts and the government of the U.K. and the EU must be able to supersede parental rights:

In socialized medicine, money for treatment becomes a serious obstacle. A socialized society does not have the money to pay for new or costly treatments because the burden is on the system to care for all the people in the same way regardless of economic status (though we all know that in such a system, some people are more equal than others and will receive better care). This approach suppresses any incentive for innovation, as innovative technologies tend to cost more (at least at the outset). Worse, if they work, then people will be clamoring for them, and if the people are little more than serfs (as they must be in a socialized society), they become bothersome in their pleas for salvation when there really is no money to afford the technologies. Matt Walsh is correct about the need for this death cult, this "die with dignity" emphasis. Life is too expensive when medicine is socialized.

The danger for government in allowing innovation of medical technology in a socialized medicine system is that the people might start realizing that the government is not the loving parent it portrays itself to be--especially when real life death panels become obvious. There may be a revolt.

If the U.K. and the EU allow Charlie's parents to take him to the U.S. for treatment, they run a huge risk: the treatment might work. If it works, it means that the socialized healthcare system is faulty, even if only 16 people in the world have Charlie's particular syndrome. Innovation in medicine and in any part of a socialized society becomes a threat to the establishment, the State. It cannot be allowed if you want to keep the status quo. If the State is God, then the State must supersede parental rights, which means suppressing innovation or refusing to allow parents to utilize innovative technologies from countries that are not yet completely socialized.

Even if the treatment didn't work, the fact that Charlie's parents had the ability to make the decision about Charlie's care is dangerous. Socialized medicine must offer the same treatments for everyone, regardless of outcome. The State is the parent/god of Little Charlie, but his parents are not.

A socialized society means that all must live at the same level of misery.

Therefore, little Charlie has to die to maintain the myth that the State is God.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Initial Foray into Kefir Culturing

I am inordinately pleased with myself, and I haven't even done anything that would justify being so smug.

I bought some kefir grains two days ago from a lady in The Big City, and I made my first batch of kefir. Here's what I did:

  1. Bring kefir grains home.
  2. Put them in a glass quart jar (I used a pickle jar that I had thoroughly washed out with filtered water).
  3. Fill the jar with whole milk.
  4. Let the jar sit on the counter for 24 hours.
  5. Strain the fermented result into another jar, put the kefir grains back into the first jar, and fill with milk again.
  6. Drink the first batch of kefir while a new batch is brewing.
I basically filled a jar with milk and kefir grains and let it sit for a day before drinking the results. So easy. No reason to feel so pleased with myself, right? It's not like I did much.

And, yet, I am pleased with myself. Making and drinking kefir is one step closer to gut health. 

Here are the facts:
  • While yogurt contains 2 -- 7 types of live cultures that help heal the gut, kefir contains 10 -- 30 (or more). 
  • Kefir contains 100% mesophilic strains, which culture at room temperature. Yogurt contains mostly thermophilic strains, which require heat to culture.
  • Kefir cultures eat the lactose in dairy milk. When the kefir is fully fermented, even people with lactose intolerance are able to stomach dairy kefir because all the lactose has been consumed, making the result very digestible.
  • Kefir grains are hard to kill. As long as you feed them and don't expose them to extremes in temperature, they'll thrive. The best way to feed them is to keep making kefir. You can even store them in the fridge when you don't want to make kefir so the grains will go dormant but won't die (just feed them a little new milk once a week).
  • Kefir grains multiply. Your initial supply will grow so you can make larger quantities of kefir or give some of the grains away to friends and family. 
  • You can also use nut milks or coconut milk to make kefir, though you'll need to make dairy kefir every two or three ferments to fully feed the grains (they need the lactose).
  • Making kefir is so easy you'll wonder why you never tried it before.
  • Kefir grains contain no actual grain and are naturally gluten-free. They kind of look like blobs of tapioca pudding.
  • The beneficial bacteria cultures in kefir stick to the lining of the alimentary canal (your digestive system) and help heal leaky gut syndrome and repair the gut lining. Yogurt cultures also help heal the gut lining, but they only stay in the system for about a day. 
Why Drink Kefir?

Kefir cultures produce the kind of beneficial bacteria and yeast that your gut needs to be healthy. A healthy gut is able to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat and correctly distribute those nutrients to the rest of your body. The more diverse your microbiome is (the microbiome is the ~3 1/2-pound collection of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in your gut), the healthier your gut will be. The healthier your gut is, the healthier you will be overall. You'll be able to absorb nutrients for energy, all your body processes will be working at optimal levels, and you'll even think more clearly and feel more optimistic.

Think of your gut lining as a shag carpet. The pile of the carpet is the villi, little fingers that increase the surface area of your gut lining. When the balance of beneficial bacteria and yeast in your gut gets upset, flora like candida yeast begin to flourish. The pile of the shag carpet gets cut down, and the backing of the carpet begins to crack, allowing small bits of improperly digested food to get into the bloodstream. These particles of food alert your immune system, which rushes to deal with the intruders. This immune response causes inflammation in the body, and that's a good when it is needed to heal a wound on a temporary basis; but constant inflammation from an immune system always on high alert causes a grocery list of chronic and serious illnesses. The doctor who wrote Gut and Psychology Syndrome blames leaky gut for everything from asthma to schizophrenia. 

When your gut flora is imbalanced, the thugs of the bacterial and yeast world take over. They make you crave sugar and processed foods because that's what the thugs need to survive and thrive. They also make you feel tired and depressed. 

A healthy gut, on the other hand, loves healthy foods like plants. When your gut is healthy, the ruling culture is one of calmness and happy productivity. The thugs are held in check and are forced to be good citizens.

Kefir alone won't heal a leaky gut and reduce body inflammation--especially if you haven't changed your bad eating habits--but it's one great weapon in the battle to a healthy microbiome. It packs a powerful probiotic punch. If you're drinking kefir while eating a diet very high in vegetables (raw and cooked), fruits, and some quality protein from meat sources, and with little to no processed foods or junk foods, you'll be able to heal the gut and keep it healthy.

This is long enough, so I'll stop. I'm just so happy that something so healthful is so simple and easy to make and produces so many good results. 

If you want to learn how to make kefir, this is where I bought my kefir grains and learned the simple process of making kefir. Just do a search on making kefir, and you'll find plenty of resources. 

Hubby's Happy Place

The art show was going on at the city park. One of Husband's favorite flute makers had a booth, so we decided to go check it out.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Feral Post-Apocalyptic Children, TCM, and Wedding Plans: a Normal Summer So Far

I had a dream last night that involved an absolutely fantastic old-fashioned mansion--the kind with acres of polished mahogany paneling and lots of stone lintels.

In my dream, it was a post-apocalyptic world, and I was leading a group of survivors to find shelter when we stumbled upon this gorgeous and massive house in the woods (not the one above. I was just giving you something to imagine). We set up shop in the house, and we kept finding new and amazing parts of it, including a sort of fourth-dimensional storage system with clever, interlocking cylinders that made perfect sense in my dream but obviously makes no sense now that I'm awake.

After some time had passed, groups of feral children and teenagers started appearing and attempting to get into the house. I kept trying to warn the others that opening the doors and letting them in would lead to our doom, but they laughed and threw open the doors to invite them in. The intruders were in the process of totally wrecking the house, and no matter how much I tried to warn my friends, they just kept laughing at me. I woke up with a terrific lack of self confidence. I just felt stupid.

The feeling of stupidity lasted for a good 20 minutes while I contemplated my tasks for the day. I had one more article to write from a long list of titles, and it had kind of stymied me for a bit. But as I got busy with the research, the feeling of stupidity dissipated, which was a relief. Nobody enjoys prolonged feelings of stupidity--especially when it seems to be your subconscious taunting you.

I've been writing and thinking about TCM lately. In my writing, Traditional Chinese Medicine has been heavily featured by the guy who gives me the titles of the articles I write. I know a lot more about yin/yang, qigong, and wu xing than I used to, for what it's worth. I finished up the last article today, which went pretty smoothly once I'd completed the research and made myself an outline.

What's really exciting is that I suggested the topic of gut health for future articles, and my liaison was very enthusiastic about it. He told me to go ahead and invoice for three 1000-word articles on any gut health topics I choose.

Getting paid to write exactly what I want to write about? Priceless!

In family news, all my daughters have found gainful employment, so there's a lot of juggling of schedules going on. Sian and Elannah work at restaurants (Sian works at Dickey's, and she always comes home smelling wonderfully of hickory smoke; and Elannah works at McDonald's, which is good because now she can't stand to eat any of it anymore), and Sophia landed a position at a beauty supply store, where she gets samples to try out every month. Gabrielle doesn't live at home, of course, but she is also doing well where she works at a credit union.

Joseph and Little Gary are occasionally feeling the effects of the summer boredoms, but they've quit complaining about it to me because I kept telling them that if I was forced to entertain them, they would get extra chores that I would require them to complete. Now they keep themselves entertained. Joseph is catching up in math, and he has to do 10 pages in his workbook every day. Not his favorite.

Husband and Sian and I went wedding dress shopping, and we found the perfect dress after only a few hours of looking. It's simple but elegant, which is exactly what Sian wanted. What's more, it is a thrift store find of $35. The dress was about $1200 new, so Sian feels like she got an incredible deal (which, of course, she did, because the dress is in pristine condition). We're having a seamstress sew an adorable jacket to go with it, as the dress is strapless, and Sian is going to be the most beautiful bride ever.

It's been hard on Sian having her fiance gone until just a few days before the wedding in August. It's been on Sian's shoulders to make some of the big decisions that couples usually get to make together: what apartment to rent, registering for gifts, making plans for the reception, etc. I'm helping her as much as I can, but she misses her fiance so much. He's off making lots of sales commissions to pay for their future lives, and they talk every night, but they miss each other terribly. Sian has a plane ticket to Washington, D.C., for early July so she can visit him for a weekend, and they're counting down the days.

Husband has been perfecting his flute-making skills. He set up a tidy little workshop area in the garage, and he's produced several really good flutes out of PVC pipe. He's toying with the idea of offering them to teachers for classrooms. He's also taking a few classes over the summer as he works toward getting sufficient tech credits to bump him up a bit in pay.

I've been very newsy lately, I know. It's not that I don't think about things, but I'm not sure I want to share what I've been mulling over quite yet. I've got a couple projects I hope to report on soon.

Oh, we went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, last week, and I had so much fun. We went to the theater's $5 Tuesday on a whim, and the boys and Sian came with us to the 9:55 pm show. We all loved it. I'd pay to see that movie on the big screen again, and I only say that about once every five years or so. We saw the Batman Lego Movie earlier this year, and I laughed so hard then, too.