All about Meniere’s Disease. Updated periodically.
When I’m questioned about why I’m retired already, or when someone airs doubts like are you really disabled? the subject of Meniere’s disease is bound to surface. It is bound to surface because Meniere’s disease is the answer to both questions. If you just stumbled across this article on my blog and want to know what is Meniere’s disease? I’ve never heard of it. I can understand that feeling. I’d never heard of it before its symptoms wrecked my life.
This was her dying wish, expressed to her granddaughter. She hadn’t been dead ten minutes before Senate leader McConnell was assuring everyone around him that the thing he argued for under Barack Obama’s presidency did not apply to the vacancy left by the death of the Notorious RBG (Tumblr) The Orange Hate-Monkey himself intends to nominate someone to the court as early as Monday or Tuesday, even though it can be easily argued that he is president right now because of Mitch McConnell’s refusal to do the very thing that they are both planning on doing, replacing a deceased jurist on the Supreme Court when a presidential election is impending.
The hypocrisy and demonstrable dereliction of duty that is shown on both Leader McConnell’s and Donald Trump’s part when it comes to stuffing conservative judges into the federal courts as fast as they possibly can is beside the point I want to make here today. They have both been bought and paid for by the oligarchs who run this country, have run this country almost from the time of its founding. Their entirely predictable intentions are irrelevant here.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was only the second woman to serve on the SCOTUS when she was appointed, the first being Sandra Day O’Connor. When she started practicing as an attorney, she had a hard time finding and keeping a job because the law at the time was a practice for men, not for women.
The notion until the ’70s was that the differentials based on gender riddling the law books operated benignly in women’s favor. So women were excused from jury duty—well, that was a favor. Who would want to serve if they didn’t have to? Michigan’s law saying women couldn’t be bartenders—that was a favor, because bars could be pretty raunchy places. Laws like that were rationalized as operating to favor or protect women. The challenge for me was to get the judges to see that, far from operating benignly in women’s favor, these laws, as Justice Brennan said so well in Frontiero, put women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.
Nina Totenberg, the voice of the narrator in that nine minute NPR piece, has covered the United States Supreme Court since she was hired by NPR back in 1975. Nina Totenberg herself has fought many of the battles that the Notorious RBG had to fight. The canned nine-minute segment prepared by NPR in the event of RBG’s death covers the basics of her history on the SCOTUS. It is not enough information if what you want to know is “Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg?” like I do. To further that quest I next queued up this episode of Radiolab, a rebroadcast of one of their spinoff More Perfect episodes about RBG and her impact on the court.
In that episode Jad Abumrad mentions that there were two movies made about Justice Ginsburg. I didn’t know about a second movie, so I had to go look it up and watch both of them.
I had always intended to watch this movie. I love documentaries and I have a fascination with the how and the why of a Supreme Court justice becoming a rock star. Becoming so famous that she inspired young women and men around the world to wear clothing and accessories (and even tattoos) with her face on it.
I watched the documentary on Hulu.com. It is also available from Amazon Prime (title link above) it is a proper documentary of a person, touching on all the parts of RBG’s life from childhood to 2018 when the documentary was made. Her time working for the ACLU is mentioned in passing, but they don’t appear to identify the attorney that worked with RGB to start the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU (Brenda Feigen) the movie also goes through several of the cases that she was notorious for winning or writing an opinion about.
Bush v. Gore (Ginsburg dissent) “…the Court’s conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court’s own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States.” (hear, hear)
…the movie opens with statements of loathing from famous conservative figures. The fact that they hate her so much is a tribute to her dedicated liberal views, which she defended to her dying day. In my opinion, the documentary is the better of the two films.
I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president … For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.
He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment.
On the Basis of Sex starts with a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in college and follows her up through her first argument of a case before a court as an attorney. Being an attorney was the job she wanted to do but was denied a chance of doing because she was a married woman with children. There is considerable deviation from the reality of her history in this film. The fictional plotline works to drive the narrative, so it is forgivable. However, it is also two hours long and feels like a two hour film when you are done watching it. The ending is satisfying, so I would give the film a positive review if I were to sit down and try to write a full review, which this paragraph isn’t.
She fought, and she won, battles that put women on equal footing with men before the law, right in the face of an overwhelming majority of contrary opinion. Again and again, she staked out the battlegrounds that legal arguments would be fought over, and she succeeded in making women largely equal to men even without the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution.
To this day women’s rights in this country are provisional, based on legal precedents won in court and not on constitutional law, and this is because of the actions of the Christianists of the Religious Right. It was through them and their leaders like Phyllis Schlafly that the Equal Rights Amendment failed to be adopted by the deadline in 1979. That women’s rights exist at all from a legal perspective is largely because of RBG; and make no mistake, this is the reason that conservatives and Republicans hate RBG and will ignore her dying wish that the next president be the one to pick her replacement.
This is the important fact, the fact that inspired me to spend a considerable amount of time reading, watching and listening to the history of Ruth Bader Ginsburg over this past weekend. Republicans hate RBG because she is a woman and she has the temerity to speak her mind in the face of legal male privilege. Remember this fact when it comes time to vote in November, not whether or not Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell succeed in making the SCOTUS an organ of conservative dogma. Conservatives and Republicans do not think women and their opinions are worthy of note. Women should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. They certainly shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court. If Trump nominates a woman, and McConnell hypocritically gets the nomination approved by the Senate, that woman will agree with this sentiment, just as Justice Thomas thinks black people should be forced into second class status. What he doesn’t say is that he believes this because that injustice will inspire the re-creation of the United States as a black nation.
Conservative/Republican women in politics believe themselves subservient to men and yet attempt to lead anyway. Contemplate this fact until you understand what it means.
Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.
I was wondering when we would cross this threshold. It is tragic, the numbers of dead Americans, Americans who did not need to die but died anyway because Donald Trump is the most inept and useless person ever to hold public office, let alone hold the office of the President of the United States.
If you look closely at the featured image you will notice in the lower corner the number of cases and deaths worldwide. (Google link for current data) We have 4.25% of the world’s population, but have nearly 20% of COVID deaths worldwide. Think about what that statistic means.
We are the world’s richest country. We have a medical system that the rest of the world comes to when they need cancer treatment or cutting edge organ transplants or other kinds of rare surgery. But when it comes to basic epidemiology, we fail utterly at protecting our own people from a VIRUS.
This failure is due to a lack of effective leadership, and the leader of this country is Donald Trump. He is to blame for every, single needless death. Every one of them. If you vote for Donald Trump, you are voting for the murderer of 200,000 of your fellow Americans. He killed them as surely as if he took a knife and sliced their throats open himself, because he knew how bad this virus was in February and did not do anything to stop its spread until March when it became clear that the United States was going to see huge infection rates soon.
His newly appointed pandemic Czar and his new pandemic policy, herd immunity, will kill between two million and six million Americans if it is allowed to follow the natural course that they have set in motion. As I said previously, if all those deaths could be limited to Stormtrumpers then I would call that death toll justice served. But it won’t be just Donald Trump’s supporters who die. Everyone will know someone close to them who will have died from this disease. Everyone.
There is no choice in the election for President on November 3rd. There is only more Trump insanity and the destruction of our once great nation in the process, or sanity and a continued United States represented in the form of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I will be voting for sanity. I hope the rest of you will be too.
For the last month, it’s been really bad. I’ve missed two raid nights in a row due to illness, the first two in a really long time. I’ve been fighting with near constant constipation for weeks. Yesterday I spent all day on the toilet with diarrhea. I haven’t talked about my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (with Constipation, making it IBS-C) diagnosis yet largely because it is too embarrassing to talk about bodily functions like that. Still, it is getting so bad that I’m going to have to do research on the subject so I will probably write something to codify what I find out about it in the coming months.
In the meantime I combat the symtoms of IBS-C at the same time as I combat the symptoms of my other chronic illnesses. I’ve had brief bouts of vertigo over the last three weeks, the worst of which started after the last struggle with constipation.
Sunday I woke up dizzy. My head was ringing so loud from tinnitus that I felt like I was under attack. I kept holding my head down trying to escape the noise and the pressure, looking over the tops of my glasses at everything and wondering why it all looked so blurry. I had nausea accompanying the nearly unexperienced session of diarrhea, so yesterday was a fun day. I did get nearly finished playing Horizon: Zero Dawn, at least.
I’ve joked for years with the Wife about wanting to have diarrhea because constipation is so uncomfortable and mine seems to never end, especially in these last few years. At least then my experiences in the bathroom would be different. After my marathon running to and from the bathroom yesterday, I can honestly say that I don’t look forward to a repeat of that experience any time soon.
At 1:39 AM this morning the pressure changed in my head. I no longer felt like my brain was being squeezed between my ears on both sides. For the first time in at least 24 hours, the pressure was off. The tinnitus changed pitch as well. Now I just feel like I’m going to faint.
This chronic illness crap is for the birds. Listen, existence. Pick one condition and stick to that one condition each day, please. I can’t take all the changing of things you are going to punish me with each day. One at a time. Take a number.
I’m getting these weird muscle spasms in my feet. The muscles in the tops and sides of my feet will lock up and pull my toes into strange-looking contortions.
I have no idea what is causing this. It could just be exercise. I used to get charley horses in the calves of my legs after riding my bike all day. I would also periodically get them after long walks. When I was in cardiac rehab the nurses insisted we stretch after each exercise session. That did seem to cut down on the muscle pain afterwards, and so I’ve kept doing the stretches since then. They seem to help. Maybe I should stretch the muscles in my feet as well? That does seem to help relax them afterwards.
It’s all just so damned weird, this getting old crap. Pains in places I didn’t know existed until I was over fifty.
I’ve modified the quadriceps stretch that I’m doing and grabbing the area just above my toes instead of the ankle when stretching. Maybe that will help.
This was the first post written completely in the WordPress mobile interface. Spelling errors are the interfaces fault (damned autocorrect!) I have now fixed those while re-editing on the desktop.
For as long as the press has existed, it has been shambling and imperfect and improvisational. At our best we get things right on average, and incrementally, with a lot of getting things wrong along the way. Most of us in this business do our imperfect best. But any hope of doing better depends on the ability to learn. Soon the clock will show 6:00 a.m. once more; the alarm will start blaring “I Got You Babe” another time. This day, we can do better.
I made the Groundhog Day comparison more than a year ago.
May 13th of 2018, to be precise. Practicing due diligence I should also note that Stonekettle proposed Bedazzled as the film that embodied America under Trump, and it’s inability to cope with the onslaught of abuse and bullshit that Trump’s America embodies. More broadly, he was making the point that you vote for the other guy if the guy that is currently leading the country is so bad at his job that even a vacant office would probably do a better job than he is doing. That seeking power for power’s sake should be a category of exclusion for political office.
The media that James Fallows at The Atlantic is lambasting is simply a part of Trump’s America. Everyone is running around virtually clueless about what is news these days because the firehose of bullshit from the White House never gives them a chance to look up and notice that they are about to drown in bullshit. The media have been trained over years of servicing the metric of who is paying attention? and how many people are paying attention? Trained to produce the click-baitiest headlines and content that they can improvise, and to go where the will-o-the-wisp of viral scandals takes them.
Doing so under the leadership of a creature like President Trump is to follow the Judas goat into the slaughterhouse. unless you want to be killed, following the judas goat or the bellwether is a pretty stupid thing to do. The people who point to their opponents and call them sheeple might have a point if they weren’t so dedicatedly heading down their own road to slaughter. Newspapers and television stations, as well as news websites, should make a point not to follow the trends, not to film where all the eyes are pointed, if they want to survive the dystopian hell we find ourselves in today. It is the news outlets that tell you true things that you don’t already know that are really generating news. The rest of the pack are nothing more than ambulance chasers.
There should be no articles in the media that contain the words Donald Trump Says at this late date in the game. Donald Trump says a lot of things, almost all of them bullshit. Repeating what he says, even listening to what he says, is a waste of time. I know, I know, the media have to keep track of that stuff, and I think that the heroes over at the Washington Post should get the congressional medal of honor for cataloging Trump’s lies. The guys who tape the presidential documents back together for the archive should join them in getting a medal. But the majority of Americans do not care what the bastard says from minute to minute. Trust me. We don’t need to know once he isn’t in office anymore.
Today’s political news can be boiled down to two major points. Some variant of these two headlines should be on every paper, television station and website in the United States. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, ad nauseum until election day. Which two headlines?
The first one should be a running tally of the number of COVID dead in the United States and an underscoring of just how many tens of thousands of deaths could have been avoided had President Trump simply done the job that he took an oath to do. This should be hammered home, again, and again, and again until Trump’s approval numbers start to flag.
The other headline should be variants of this one,
Stories that detail exactly how fucking bad the economy is for the average American. Stories about people losing their homes. Stories about people who are starving. Stories about people who haven’t got a pot to piss in because of President Trump, but they mysteriously will still vote for him this year because they think that Satanists (AKA, Democrats) are having sex with and eating children, and that Joe Biden will initiate the race war that will deliver the United States to the brown-skinned people who really aren’t Americans.
The #MAGA: Qanon Fantasies are just an extension of the Satanic panic of the 90’s. There is no there there. The nitpicking about the politics of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden is nothing more than sour grapes. America wants to return to the Obama years, back when we could go to a movie theater and watch a movie in a crowd and laugh and not worrying about dying in two weeks from a virus you picked up there. The years when the vast majority of Americans could actually afford to go to the theater, or a restaurant or just be able to buy food. America longs for the Obama years and so picked Joe Biden as the nominee to run against the butcher of brown children. The plague-carrying chef that just can’t stop himself from baking his shit into every meal he serves up. Against that backdrop, Joe Biden is a bright spring morning. The kind of day you used to wake up to and be thankful to be alive.
Anyone who votes for Donald Trump and are themselves not wealthy con artists is a fool. Donald Trump is the president of con artists, the kind of con artists that run evangelical churches all across America. Those are his people. His Stormtrumpers.
Stormtrumpers are so afraid of socialism that they will conspire with socialist dictators in order to stop the Democrats from creating American socialism. Never mind that they can’t define what socialism is, they know they are afraid of it and they won’t vote for someone who labels themselves a socialist (this is why Bernie Sanders is not the Democratic nominee. -ed.) Rudy, how far you have fallen. Russia, China and the rest of the enemies of American-styled liberal democracies are working as hard as they can to make sure Trump wins re-election. They want the United States to come apart at the seams. They, like the proud boys they sponsor, want the boogaloo get started. They want us fighting each other and not noticing them as they crack down on their own populations.
We cannot allow this to happen. We have to put our backs to the wheel and get this country back on the road before the zombie hordes catch up to the bus we are traveling in. If we are overrun, then nothing stands between average people and the criminal element that Donald Trump empowers. Vladimir Putin is the poster child for these criminal enterprises, and he hopes to lead a world-wide organization of mobsters that will continue to live amidst wealth while the common people starve. Then we will have the future that George Orwell predicted, just a few short decades after 1984. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would love to be able to indoctrinate their subject peoples to believe whatever silly thing they decree. Xi Jinping is already do it to the Uyghurs.
We need to redefine what politics is in this country. We cannot afford to have half of the country sitting on their hands when it comes time to pick leaders. To paraphrase a podcaster that I listened to recently, “Politics is not a marriage. Politics is public transportation.“ Candidates are just the transportation that you take to get closer to your political goals. You don’t have to spend your entire life with that person, picking up after them, washing their laundry, reminding them where they left their phone and their keys. You just have to acknowledge that they make the right noises and that they have historically acted in a fashion that confirms that the noises they make a generally truthful, and then you vote for the candidate and hope they don’t embarrass or betray you before they leave office.
…if your vote didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be working so damned hard to keep you from exercising it. Get your ass to the polls, no matter what.
They deserve to have their beliefs mocked when they dare to air them in a public venue. When they dare to build Ark parks and Creation Museums with public money. If they don’t want to be mocked then they should keep their inane beliefs to themselves. This activity is an essential error correction process. Evolution is science, not belief. Penguin evolution is just hilarity.
My dad was born on September 11, 1938. On his sixty-third birthday terrorists destroyed two American icons and shattered forever the illusion that we were beyond the reach of the people intent on doing us harm. There are many lessons to be learned from gaining that insight, but it doesn’t appear that the US has learned anything in the intervening years since September 11, 2001. We relive the events of 9-11 over and over again on each anniversary. Wallowing in our collective angst while repeating the same mistakes that lead to that day, that sprung from that day. Every year on September 11, we are forced to relive the events of 2001 all over again as if we are required to revisit the tragedy when the tragedy has effectively become meaningless.
Every year on this day we bathe in the blood of that day yet again. We watch the towers fall over and over. It’s been 15 goddamned years, but we just can’t get enough. We’ve just got to watch it again and again.
Every year. Every goddamn year. I picked that quote specifically because goddamn was one of my dad’s most favored curses. I loved to listen to him tell stories, and he loved to tell stories. It was what he lived for. It was probably why he started selling cars, it gave him an excuse to talk to more people. Talking to people was his job description and not something he had to sneak into his days in between greasemonkey tasks at the Phillips 66 station that he inherited from his father.
He worked in the garage for his father as a teenager before he was drafted into the military. The Army then put him to work in the motor pool doing exactly what he had been doing at his father’s garage.
Dad didn’t like military life very much, and left the service after 4 years to return home to Kansas and his family there. As a teenager I foolishly contemplated joining the military myself, and mentioned it to him to see what he thought. “You like taking orders?” he said. I didn’t, I replied. “Well, then you don’t want to join the military.” That was his thinking on the subject, in a nutshell. He never elaborated more, but that view has stuck with me ever since.
After he divorced my mother dad sold his garage to the guys that had worked faithfully for him for decades and set about making himself known across several states as the car salesman that would get you a fair deal on whatever vehicle you were looking for. The number of returning customers testified to his honesty in dealing with the people that his fellow salesman treated as marks. Not my dad. Every person who wanted a car and came to him looking for the right car for them, left with either the car they were looking for or a memorable story about the salesman that really tried to help them find that one special vehicle they wanted.
That was my father. His major complaints in life were that the fish didn’t bite often enough when we went fishing (his favorite pastime) and that terrorists picked his birthday as the day to strike at America. Every year after 2001 he was forced to relive that horrible day rather than be allowed to celebrate his birthday in peace. Every year until he died, the day that he had looked forward to through childhood had become something terrifying and repugnant. It annoyed him that his day had been the day they picked. I can understand that. It is captured in this sentiment,
This new generation has lived under the shadow of those falling towers every single minute of every single day since the moment they were born.
I’m reclaiming today and every September 11th after this one for my father. Happy birthday dad, wherever you are.
I am reclaiming it for my father and for all the young Americans born since that day. People who deserve more than to be dragged into battles that have been going on since before they were born. I promise to spend more time thinking of him and of them than of the other events that make this day stand out for average Americans. Because really, why remember if we aren’t going to learn anything from it?
In pontoon boats, sailboats and yachts flying “Trump 2020” flags, hundreds took to Lake Travis on Saturday in a boat parade in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign — but some boats were swamped by choppy water and needed rescue.
I had heard about the Trump Boat Parade and the trouble it was having, but I was feeling so poorly that I didn’t even bother to look up why dozens of boats were floundering and sinking in Lake Travis. I mean, what is this all about? Why are boats sinking in Lake Travis? I almost dismissed the whole thing as a hoax. Then I saw the pictures.
I’ve sailed a bit myself over the years. I’ve sailed mostly on small sailboats that can’t be sunk without first being holed. I’ve sailed (boated?) on motorboats, trolling for fish with my father. I’ve seen conditions like this on various lakes many, many times over my years of infatuation with all things nautical. Do you know what you do when the water looks like this? You stay home and you don’t sail/fish that day. It is as simple as that.
What you don’t do is put your boat in the water with a bunch of other boats and try to sail in tight formation. What happens when you do something as stupid as this is, you lose your boat. These people? These people are the poster children for people with more money than sense. Proof positive that we don’t live in a meritocracy in the United States. If we did, these idiots would be wards of the state.
I haven’t felt like writing, or even up to the attempt at writing, for more than a week now. I don’t know why. It could be my allergies. It could be the tinnitus that is making even listening to podcasts extremely hard. I did manage to finish reading my first physical book in several years. I will write about that experience soon, I hope. I hope I’ll feel up to reading another book soon, too.
That is all I’ve been doing, aside from reading. I haven’t even managed to get online to run with my guild in World of Warcraft. Sinuses feel like they are going to pop out of my head. Sick to my stomach with something, probably just the Irritable Bowel Syndrome acting up.
The Party of Trump is about to be taught the same lesson that I learned from a decade of Libertarian Party activism. If you promote fringe beliefs you become an expensive, unelectable and thusly ineffectual governing machine. Without the majority of votes, votes you get from promoting popular goals, you cannot achieve the purpose of a governing body.
The purpose? Being given the authority to govern. That is why political parties exist. They don’t exist to perfect ideologies. They don’t exist to take the most extreme moral stands. They exist to govern.The Republican party has forgotten this fact. They forgot it when they became the Party of Trump. Kasich should have been the Republican nominee in 2016. In 2020 he is speaking at the Democratic National Convention in support of Joe Biden. That, in a nutshell, is why the Republican party will lose. They have even alienated the governors that they helped to elect in previous decades.
Trump won by a fluke of luck. Two people per precinct sat at home in Michigan in 2016, and Donald Trump became president. No one predicted it because it was a black swan event. An event that hinges on such a small possibility that the math simply can’t be generated to come up with that solution. Just like COVID-19 was a black swan event. A predictable and predicted event that could happen (and almost did happen twice during the Obama administration) could happen at any moment. With just the right virus and the wrong president at the helm of this country. The two events together spell hundreds of thousands of needlessly dead Americans. All of it Trump’s fault, whether he wants to take the blame or not.
Trump is underwater in popularity. His chances of winning in November are once again almost nil. He has no coattails to ride to success, and the Party of Trump is nominating the craziest of the crazies to become legislators, races that solely rely on garnering the majority of votes in their districts. Trump won because he didn’t need a majority of the population, he just needed to flip three Democratic states. When the legislative candidates lose the popular vote they don’t get to have the office, unlike Donald Trump who lost by three million votes but still won in 2016.
I only have two questions in mind for 2020. Will Trump lose in all 50 states? Will the Democrats secure the Senate with a solid majority of the seats? We won’t know for days, possibly weeks after the election. Weeks that Trump will use to spread doubt about the election results in an attempt to retain power. But if the vote is certified as a victory for Biden, then Donald Trump will cease to be president on January 20, 2021. On that day the Party of Trump will cease to exist. Maybe then the ideological purists will recognize their mistakes.