Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Ever since Michele Bachmann came out with her news on July 20th that she has incapacitating and debilitating migraines, everyone has been putting his oar in about the subject.

Me included. I have an article about it in Philadelphia’s “Broad Street Review”.

Predictably, there was a piece about migraines on July 26th in The New York Times Health section (“Migraine Miseries Push Patients in Ways of Coping” by Tara Parker-Pope).

As is to be expected, most people are defending the right of people with migraines to run for president on the grounds that migraines are treatable, and controllable with proper medications.

Migraines are treatable. But they can't be controlled. And there is no such thing as proper migraine medications.

There are diseases and conditions that are treatable and controllable and/or cured with proper medications: Diabetes, Hansen’s (leprosy), transplanted organs, epilepsy, psoriasis, some forms of cancer in some stages, lupus, MS in the early stages, HIV/AIDS and on and on.

But Lou Gehrig’s disease? No. Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder? Yes, until the person goes off his meds or until the meds don’t work anymore. And then we have migraines, the disease that is now Number One on the “Defend This Disease” list.

Anyone (like me) writing about migraines and the fact (yes, fact) that no one with migraines should run for president, is not saying that migraine-sufferers are less worthy than the rest of the population.

What I am saying is this: Look at the disease and how it acts. All you doctors who are so hotly defending the medications available for migraines, take an honest look at what is happening to all the patients who are getting the best possible treatment for migraines. And what does one find?

One finds that doctors don’t know much about migraines. One finds there is no way to properly treat and control migraines. One finds that anyone afflicted with severe migraines will still have severe attacks of migraines no matter what medication is given.

One finds that most doctors who are treating migraines do not have migraines themselves. And I am not suggesting that any surgeon performing appendectomies should have performed an appendectomy on himself.

However, with migraines and the fact (yes, fact!) that so little is actually known about the malady, it would be helpful and instructive for the doctors who are treating migraines with such confidence and assurance, to at least know something firsthand about the disease they are treating.

Yesterday’s NYT column reported that, “Some migraine sufferers, including Ms. Bachmann, experience pain so severe they go the emergency room. But a recent review of emergency room doctors in Ontario found that patients were rarely treated with the proper drugs for migraine, according to a report last month in the journal Pain Research & Management…The data suggests that more education is needed.”

Well, that sounds fine and dandy. But the fact is (yes, fact), all drugs given for migraines are on a trial-and-error basis. To even suggest that there is a “proper” regimen, that there is a “proper” drug or combination of drugs, that there is a “proper” life-style that will keep migraines at bay is the worst kind of sophistry and fallacious hogwash.
There is no proper way to treat migraines. Whatever works, works. But anyone with migraines knows any treatment will not work all the time--it may work once and never again, and when it’s the worst possible time for a migraine to attack, that is when it will hit and that is the moment the drugs of choice--the oh-so-proper-combination--will not work.

In the NYT article, assistant professor of neurology at the John Hopkins Headache Center Dr. Satnam Nijjar, said, “If it’s not well controlled with the right combination of preventative or acute therapy, it can be very disabling. It’s probably the most common cause for time missed from work in the U.S.”

And Robert Dalton, executive director of the National Headache Foundation in Chicago, said that while migraines can be impairing, the larger problem is that many sufferers aren’t getting proper medical care. “What we want to make sure people understand,” Dalton said, “is that it’s a debilitating disease when it’s not managed properly.”

Nijjar and Dalton are just fooling themselves and desperately trying to fool you and all people who want to believe there is a way to properly manage migraines so that they don’t control one’s life.

There isn’t. At this point in time, there is no perfect, proper drug or combination of drugs and regimen for the management of migraines. Some drugs work some of the time, some drugs work for some people, some people take epilepsy drugs, some people stay away from bright lights, some people can’t drink red wine. But everyone who has severe migraines knows the day will come when they will be incapacitated and they simply will have to give in to their affliction, no matter what drugs their doctor deems proper.

And let it be said, it’s a rare doctor (and a rare patient with plenty of health insurance and cash in the bank) who will give a patient all the time he needs to explain the varied symptoms of migraines. More than a few doctors get really fed up with people whose migraines don’t succumb to the doctor’s drugs of choice, and more than a few doctors get really fed up with people with migraines.

So, at long last, here is my point.

Doctors may not want to tell you straight out and honestly, but, this is a fact: If we elect a person who has severe migraines to be our president, there will be a day when that president will have to abdicate his power to a lesser light because his migraine medications aren’t working and he is having a severe attack.

That is the day that president will be hugging a commode, vomiting his guts out, with a blinding headache and begging for relief or death. Or he will be in the hospital, sedated and uncomprehending. 

In either scenario that president will not be able to transact White House business. And we who elected him will have had prior knowledge that the day would come, as surely as death, taxes and migraines, when a severe migraine would incapacitate, debilitate and cause that president to be useless.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It’s hard to know if Don Joseph Alois Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI, capo di tutti capi in the Vatican takes lessons from Don Rupert Murdoch, capo di tutti capi at World News, or the other way around. But whoever is the capo di tutti capi of evil-doers world-wide, it’s pretty obvious, lessons are being learned.

Yesterday, while being grilled by members of Parliament in London, the Murdoch Dons Rupert and James said they had no knowledge of any of the blatently illegal shenanigans going on at the Murdoch newspapers, and that they should not be blamed for the actions of underling miscreants.

Coincidentally, in Philadelphia yesterday, Archbishop Justin Rigali was sent packing in favor of a Native-American Archbishop Charles J. Chaput newly flown in from Denver.

Rigali was not driven out of Philadelphia because he had been at the center of the Philadelphia pedophile priest scandal—protecting and defending 21 pedophile priests who serially raped little boys during Rigali’s eight-year tenure. No. The Vatican says Rigali was 75 years old and therefore was required to resign.

In fact, no mention whatsoever was made yesterday of the scandal that has rocked the Philadelphia Roman Catholic community since 2005 when the first Grand Jury report became known. Rigali could have stemmed the tide of priest abuse at that time, but he chose instead to protect the priests until last February when another Grand Jury report made graphic and horrendous headlines about the magnitude of the vicious rapes of little boys by 21 priests--priests whose activities were known and protected by Justin Rigali.

Just as Rupert Murdoch allowed that yesterday was the “humblest day” of his life, Rigali made an obscure pass at alluding to his monstrous behavior by saying, “If I have offended anyone in any way, I am deeply sorry. I apologize for any weaknesses on my part in representing Christ and his church worthily and effectively.”

It’s impossible not to laugh at a sentence from Rupert Murdoch using the words “humble” and “my life”. It’s also impossible not to be incensed at Archbishop Rigali for suggesting he represents Christ in any capacity except unworthily.

Regarding the pedophile scandal in the RC church, Capo Ratz said in March 2010 that he “would not be intimidated by gossip”. On Monday when Scotland Yard assistant commisioner John Yates resigned because of his close ties with the Murdochs, Yates said, “huge amount of inaccurate, ill-informed and, on occasion, downright malicious gossip” had forced his resignation.

In the end, all criminals sound alike.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Any chance the head of the notorious News Corporation Rupert Murdoch and the head of the notorious Roman Catholic Church Pope Benedict XVI aka Joseph Alois Ratzinger were twins separated at birth?

No, I suppose not. Ratz was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1927, and Rupert was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1931.

Still, their similarities are stunning. They both are ambitious beyond the ken of normally ambitious men. Neither one has an ingrained sense of right and wrong—they only know what feeds or damages their egos. Both men equate self-worth with the success of their corporations. Both men are viciously protective of their corporations. Both men are dictatorial, tyrannical and despotic.

I’m thinking both men have small-man’s disease. Info from the Vatican says Ratz is 5’7”. But I suspect that’s in heels…I mean, who would know what’s under those frocks? However, just try to find out Rupert’s height. Conjectures on Google run from the size of a giant toad, as in, 3’2” to 5’1”. What’s really wonderfully perfect is that this man who is so incredibly ugly inside and out has managed to keep his height out of the newspapers because of his vanity.

In any case, both Pope Ratz and Rupert Murdoch have jumped the shark.

Both men, at the peak of their power and influence, have done things so reprehensible that they can never regain their reputations or recover from their own self-inflicted wounds. It is fair to say that both men would not have engaged in their arrogant acts of coercion, oppression and intimidation had they not been psychotic in their need for power, and unconcerned with the extent to which they had become toxic and malevolent to gain that power.

Pope Ratz willingly and willfully harmed little children, intimidated underlings and faithful parishioners, lied and cheated in order to protect the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church and to protect his reputation during his climb to the top of his profession. There is no difference between Pope Ratz and Rupert Murdoch who has lied, cheated, intimidated and oppressed thousands of cohorts, coworkers and underlings in his climb to the top of his profession. 

I firmly believe that both men have used the services of thugs, gangsters and murderers and have sacrificed the lives of little children to gain their unholy ends.