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Men’s Health

Letter To men And Boys

 At some point in life, you will need to see a doctor. When you are young and living at home, your parents or guardian will usually see to that. When you are on your own, it becomes your job to take on that duty. It is important that you do so. According to your means, you need to seek and find a physician that you can see at least once a year (twice is better). With all of the different specialties available, you should look for a “family medicine physician”. Please pay attention to this: upon selecting someone, first step is taking to whomever you select to get a sense of comfort, if there is no comfort, there will be no trust no matter how qualified they are. Ask questions (not “gottchas”) that relate to your personal health as you understand it. Be satisfied with answers before continuing. Understand that Doctors are people first and like anyone else they have faults. “Pick your doctor like you pick your friends”. Once you have accepted this caregiver, what should follow is a complete workup to determine a “baseline” on your health aside form from any defined or ongoing conditions. This workup will include lab work (blood and urine usually and ask the question if you need to fast prior to the lab work). In the physical part according to your age, there maybe an unpleasant part involving palpitation of the prostate (it is pronounced prostate not prostrate). This is done by insertion of a digit in to the rectum (which neither of you will enjoy). This process is important because prostate cancer is slow growing and can go undetected for years. Part of the lab work will involve measurement of your “PSA” (Prostate Specific Antigen) which helps determine the health of your prostate gland. All of this is wordy and boring but the advice I feel is sound and may put you on a path to a healthier life. Now the ugly stuff: if at some point (hopefully never) you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the choices are usually surgery, radiation or chemo.

Side Effects: Surgery- possible incontinence, impotence.

                       Radiation-Could Cause stroke symptoms, incontinence, impotence

                       Chemo- impotence, incontinence, loss of hair, taste.

All of these side effects may be permanent or temporary and may vary according to your general health and co morbidity.

As a prostate cancer survivor, I personally recommend the surgery as first choice as the side effects are something you can LIVE with. Simply put, find a personal physician that you like and can talk to comfortably about your health, follow their suggestions, maintain a good diet, exercise and live a long time.

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Bottomliners Comic Strip for September 08, 2021
Non Sequitur Comic Strip for September 08, 2021
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The GOP who raised debt ceiling 8 times to finance the touted “tax cuts” and other misbegotten laws and executive orders are pushing the idea that the proposed spending will saddle future generations with debt. The facts are these funds will be spent over 10 plus years not 1 year as hinted by the GOP. It is well known that many of us do not (with good reason) trust politicians no matter the party however the misdeeds on either side bear remembering when elections roll around again. Bear in mind the two letters in the middle of poLItican is “LI(e)”! To cite a movie line: What we have here is a failure to communicate”, with those words we sum up the relationship between our elected representatives and us, the taxpayers. The daily sucking up to the words of the former president and adherence to the voluminous lies he is spewing daily is the GOP line now. Since our elected officials are following this line of thought for their own gain, it is time that we look seriously at who we vote for and consider some legislation that will limit terms and several of the perks associated with the Congressional offices. If there is no incentive to stay in office for 20 years and retire in ease, perhaps we can get proper legislation and governance. We should be aware that Congress has over the years made rules that benefit them and their personal well being. Now as a group they are telling us (taxpayers) don’t believe the facts and what you see, believe the lies we are telling you and keep us in office or as the former liar said” Only I can save you” while pouring water on you and saying it’s just a little shower! If you are paying attention you will see that the stopping or otherwise affecting the spending needed for infrastructure that is long overdue is not in our best interests. The previous administration did nothing even after raising the debt ceiling and putting us more in debt with “tax reform” which benefitted “them” not “us”! To be blunt the GOP wants to regain control to cover their own immoral acts and commit more much like they did in the 1800’s prior to the war between the states.

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OpinionUS domestic policy

Biden’s signature bill isn’t that expensive. It’s a drop in the bucket

Ben Davis

Even after passing reconciliation as is, the US welfare state would still be a small investment by world standards

Thu 7 Oct 2021 06.19 EDT

As Democrats continue negotiations in the hopes of saving Biden legislative agenda, one thing has consumed the media and conservative Democrats in Congress: the price tag. Nearly every news item on Biden’s signature Build Back Better reconciliation bill has led with the $3.5tn cost, as if the price were in the title of the bill itself.

The West Virginia senator Joe Manchin issued a scathing critique of the supposedly profligate Biden agenda, calling the reconciliation bill “fiscal insanity” that ignores the “brutal fiscal reality our nation faces”. The Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema claims that she cannot support a bill with a price tag this high. The tone of these conservative senators and the media coverage would lead anyone to think that $3.5tn of additional spending over a decade was an enormous amount of money that would drastically increase the size of government, endanger government coffers, and even “re-engineer the social and economic fabric of this nation”.

This elides the fact that Congress routinely passes bills with fiscal implications this large or larger with virtually no media coverage, debate or public comment. The federal government spends $7.5tn a decade on the military, with little to no serious attempts to reverse this spending or even to curtail its growth. The Trump administration passed $2tn in tax cuts with little comment on the cost.

The selective focus on cost reveals our societal priorities. Spending that reifies the power of business is considered common sense, while attempts to address inequalities in society are bitterly opposed. A dollar that goes toward a missile destined for a wedding in Afghanistan or the offshore tax haven of a billionaire is less objectionable to those in charge than a dollar that goes to feeding a hungry child.

The primary problem with the hyperfocus on cost is that this bill just does not cost all that much. The $350bn a year in increased spending represents just 1.5% of the US GDP. In his statement, Manchin contrasted the $3.5tn price tag over a decade with the $5.4tn the federal government has spent over the last 18 months. This really gives the game away: $520bn over 18 months is just a drop in the bucket compared with the current level of $5.4tn. This all comes in a country that spends comparatively little on social programs in the first place.

Even after passing reconciliation as is, the American welfare state would still be a small investment by the standards of world economies. This is not a radical spending package: it’s the agenda of a moderate president, supported by the moderate leaders of the party, and even by groups like the arch-centrist thinktank Third Way.

Additionally, the package would be paid for while maintaining the United States’ comparatively low tax burden. Indeed, it says a lot that obstructionist conservative Democrats are concerned far more with the official price tag than what is actually in the bill and what will get cut.

In defense budgets, which are passed without the blink of an eye, massive amounts of money end up in boondoggles and lining the pockets of contractors: $1.7tn on a fighterjet that will barely fly, at least $35bn on ships that literally disintegrate when they touch salt water, and more and more. Each of these wasteful programs could pay for huge chunks of the sort of popular and useful social spending that is currently so controversial.

The debate around the Biden legislative agenda shows how clearly our society’s priorities are out of tune with people’s actual needs

So easy is it to raise money for the military, that Congress even uses the defense budget as a backdoor to necessary economic spending: like when it fights to keep open bases the military wants closed, build tanks the army doesn’t want, in order to protect US jobs. This turns defense spending into a constant stimulus package, employing people in makework jobs because it is politically easier than just making sure people have enough money. The same politicians who demand scrimping when providing for needy families are more than happy to spend extravagantly on war.

The debate around the Biden legislative agenda shows how clearly our society’s priorities are out of tune with people’s actual needs. It’s not about spending too much money, deficits, waste or fostering a “culture of dependency”. Rather, this demonstrates once again how much our power structure is aimed at protecting the status quo and the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else.

The provisions in the reconciliation bill are not only a moral necessity and good policy: they are extremely popular. Yet, the elected officials who support unlimited military spending are responding to lobbyists and donors, and opposing social spending on their behalf.

Pointing out hypocrisy on the part of fiscal conservatives is not a winning strategy, but this hypocrisy points to a fundamental contradiction in the way American society is organized. It’s far harder for government to provide help to the weak than it is to protect the powerful, and the choices of our elected officials rarely reflect the preferences of the citizens they represent. This situation is untenable. Now more than ever, we need a transformative movement that will fundamentally reorient our society’s priorities. That starts with passing the reconciliation bill.

  • Ben Davis works in political data in Washington, DC
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The GOP is balking against the proposed spending by the DEMS (who are divided themselves). yet they have gone along with an idiot while using his blustering as a cover for their own budgetary acts. These are the actions of self serving politicians, not leaders. The primary job (supposedly) of elected officials is to administer the government in the best interests of the voters and taxpayers not their party and it’s overall agenda. No matter who you affiliate with politically, it should be noted that weight placed on some is also placed on all in someway or another. The party line is not necessarily what the party leaders do for us or to us. We as taxpayers are left to read between the lines and we need to read carefully. The current fight over budgets and funding is purely political and should not even be happening as the Congress has known for years that our infrastructure and manufacturing has been relegated to unimportant because it costs money. Of course it costs money and that money is why we pay taxes (except for the top 1%). Now the GOP is standing in the way of funding for needed infrastructure. Which they could have and should have done when they were in the majority. The uproar or false information about the burden on future generations neglects the fact that the plan is to cover about 5 to 10 years not one year. The current chip shortage possibly could have been a non issue if the US chip makers were not allowed to put the manufacturing in a foreign country that is our biggest rival in manufacturing and world presence. Thank you Congress for doing the Washington 2 step while whistling Dixie!

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Many of us have come to believe that our votes do not count, wrong. Our votes do count and the electeds know it. The recent voting law changes are evidence of that. Historically the current GOP has switched sides several times in order to do as little as possible for the voters and that has not changed to this day. As Democrats they did not want social programs put forth by then President Roosevelt, they then became Republicans and evolved to be who they are now but still the anti public good office holders. The writing has never been off of the wall but many of us have just painted over it in the hope of not looking at it but no amount of primer will cover the facts that the current GOP is a culmination of years of misdeeds on behalf of big money against the people who put them in office. there is no greater sin than ignoring the machinations of the current anti voter GOP. TOTUS has allowed and indeed legitimized lying to get in office and lying to stay there. While politicians are prone to hyperbole and disinformation while actively coloring the truth, there are some who still work for the public good. We as taxpayers and voters need to pay attention to the person we vote for rather than the party they work under. There is no greater error than following a party that works against us while pushing the “we work for the people” line. The current political system is about self service with the end game of retiring with a handsome pension after doing 20 plus years of nominal work. This is America, once a poster child of how a country should work but now the real truth emerges in disastrous ways. Thank you TOTUS for making these facts public though you didn’t know you were doing it.

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The GOP is balking against the proposed spending by the DEM (who are divided themselves). yet they have gone along with an idiot while using his blustering as a cover for their own budgetary acts. These are the actions of self serving politicians, not leaders. The primary job (supposedly) of elected officials is to administer the government in the best interests of the voters and taxpayers not their party and it’s overall agenda.. No matter who you affiliate with politically, it should be noted that what weight is placed on some is also placed on all in someway or another. The party line is not necessarily what the party leaders do for us or to us. We as taxpayers are left to read between the lines and we need to read carefully.

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Nicolaus Mills  5 hrs ago

These days few periods in American history hold more interest for us than the Reconstruction era of the 1860s and 1870s. Our struggles with voter suppression laws and the policing of Black communities are all too often nothing so much as extensions of the racial legacy of the post-Civil War era.

It is this connection between past and present that makes Robert S. Levine’s The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson especially timely. Levine begins by telling us that the promise of Reconstruction “remains unfulfilled to this day,” but it is not a point he has to stress. The Supreme Court’s decision this July 1 upholding Arizona’s new voter restriction laws in the case of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee is all the reminder we need of how the current battle for Black voting rights goes straight back to 1870 and the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, which prevents states from denying the right to vote on account of race or color.The hero of Levine’s book is Frederick Douglass. In his portrait of Douglass, Levine’s aim is to go beyond the histories of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, that focus on the Radical Republicans. Levine’s intention is to move Douglass and his African-American contemporaries “from the background to the foreground of the four years of Reconstruction under Johnson.”

In Andrew Johnson, Levine has the perfect foil to Douglass. Johnson proclaimed himself to be the Moses who would lead Black Americans to their freedom. He thought of himself as a worthy presidential successor to Lincoln despite the adverse impact his actions had on America’s former slaves. Johnson saw nothing to regret when in 1865 he issued an Amnesty Proclamation that pardoned most ex-Confederate leaders if they pledged loyalty to the Constitution and the Union. And he saw nothing harmful in his 1866 veto of Congress’s extension of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the key institution for distributing food and clothing to the four million newly freed slaves in the South.

Levine resists the temptation to caricature Johnson. He sees him as a complex figure, noting that after Johnson left the presidency, he made a political comeback, winning election to the Senate from Tennessee. Levine’s point is not that Johnson deserves to be redeemed but that he has been given too much blame for the failures of Reconstruction. “There is something shortsighted in conceiving of the failure of Reconstruction as the fault of one white man,” Levine argues. “The stigmatization of Johnson allows for speculation that a different leader would have guided the nation to interracial reconciliation.”

In Levine’s judgment the Radical Republicans need to be seen as having played a major role in the failures of Reconstruction. Their own racism was a liability that hampered them throughout the post-Civil War years. Levine notes how at the Southern Loyalists’ Convention, which took place in Philadelphia in September 1866, Douglass was treated with disdain. Even before he got to the convention, a number of Republican delegates urged him not to attend because his very presence made so many in their party uneasy.

For Levine, Douglass’ willingness to face down racism from northern Republicans, rather than accept it, was emblematic of his larger vision. Levine emphasizes the distinction Douglass made between theoretical rights and actual right in terms of day-to-day politics. In a lecture he delivered in 1876, the year of America’s centennial, Douglass pointedly asked his white audience, “What does it all amount to, if the black man, after having been made free by the letter of your law, is unable to exercise that freedom?”

In Levine’s judgment what is especially compelling about Douglass is the long view he took of the enduring legacy of slavery. Douglass never lost sight of the time it would take to undo the damage of slavery. “There is no such thing as instantaneous emancipation,” Douglass observed three years after the Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery became law. “The links of the chain may be broken in an instant, but it will take not less than a century to obliterate all traces of the institution.”

Douglass’ long view of the legacy of slavery enabled him to keep going at a period in his life when he had every reason to feel discouraged. The surge in lynching in the 1880s and the Supreme Court’s 1883 decision declaring the Civil Rights Acts of 1875 unconstitutional reflected the backward steps the country took in Douglass’ later years. His death in 1895 spared him from having to deal a year later with the Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that made “separate but equal” the law of the land, but Douglass would not have wanted to be spared from the fight over Plessy v. Ferguson.

Were he alive today, it is easy to imagine Douglass taking satisfaction in the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from its pedestal on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. But his greatest energy would have been devoted to countering the assaults on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Nothing links Douglass to the present moment more than his belief that the federal government, not the states, must be the ultimate guarantor of voting rights.

John Lewis’ proposed Voting Rights Advancement Act now languishing in Congress—which updates the power of the Justice Department to approve any changes in voting laws in states or political subdivisions with a record of discrimination—would be a common sense remedy to Douglass. He even had a name for what follows when Black Americans are systematically excluded from their right to vote: “emasculated citizenship” he called it.

Nicolaus Mills is professor of American literature at Sarah Lawrence College and author of Like a Holy Crusade: Mississippi 1964—The Turning of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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There is no denying the facts of the past 4 years and the “antics” of the former guy. What is incredible and still ongoing are the actions of the GOP in general and by extension less moderate members. The ongoing lawsuits over voting rights, abortion and specifically the reinstitution of the “wild west” in Texas are just a few of the recent news making issues. There are the denial of Covid masking mandates in spite of rising Covid infections and deaths. The attempts to gloss over January 6th (another day of infamy) by attacking the facts of live TV coverage seen by millions. The GOP is moving in a direction that at once appalls and shames their party yet not enough moderates are speaking out. Instead the radicals are all over the airwaves with wild and false statements. This reminiscent of actions and talking points that have occurred anytime the elites and politicians want to maintain “their status quo” on the backs of the poor and people of color. The latest volley (beginning 20 years ago) was the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which cost the taxpayers Trillions of dollars but the Congress and the former guy gave tax breaks to the top 1% while explaining to the 99% that this was good for them! Taxpayers are in the grips of 535 sleight of hand artists whose sole purpose appears to be remaining in office for 20 years and retire comfortably. Of course there are some reasonable enactions that arise but too many others remain and affect us all

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It is interesting that the GOP unites no matter the issue. It’s all about power, their unity can be likened to a portion of the marriage vow “for better or worse”. Looking at the past 4 years, most GOP members voted for or supported  most if not all of TOTUS’s policies while installing their own. They also installed GOP leaning conservative judges to Federal courts (we have seen the results of those appointments). Many of those actions have not been good for the voters but the voters have been distracted by “shiny objects” that belie the real substance of those actions whose real purpose and realities may not emerge immediately but will last a long time and not for the good of the country. Now that the DEMS have moderate control, they can’t seem to do the same. This may not good or bad but effective for the GOP as they have fodder for the upcoming elections. The DEMS subsects  appear to have the goals in mind but can’t seem to unite long enough to get the job done. At some point it becomes “s**t of get off the pot”. With the pandemic potentially in the rear view mirror, the DEMS are still twisting themselves in the wind. They are essentially setting themselves up for failure. It is well to remember that the GOP is still attempting to hang the failures of the former guy and by extension their failures on the current administration all to gather support for the next election cycle. No matter what liars still lie as stated before the two middle letters in the word POLITICIAN spell “lie”!

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