Alternate RSS Feed Click Here

Enter your email address to get Rob's blog delivered by e-mail!:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, June 03, 2022

My Trip to the Voting Booth

At the time of this writing, it's election time in California. So on the advice from one of my friends, I decided to junk the mail-in ballot and vote in person at the local polling station. It was the first time in decades that I didn't vote by absentee ballot. 

After locating my local polling place, I walked into the cafeteria at Valley College to do my part for American democracy. I was greeted by at least 20 signs in 30 different languages, each one attempting to direct voters of every race, color and creed on how and what to do next.  It was early in the voting period, and while there must have been close to 50 voting machines, there were just a few people actually voting. 

I took a long look around. "Boy, a lot has changed since I last voted in a booth," I thought to myself. And from what I could tell, these were not changes for the better. 

Not that I'm by any means an expert, but I spent a lot of my career nurturing information technology clients in Silicon Valley, so I have just enough knowledge about this stuff to be dangerous. Nevertheless, I can tell you without reservation that everything I observed pretty much confirmed the viability of every theory of voting fraud I've ever heard. 

Stick with me, because this is not what you think.

To begin with, it's clear the voting machines were designed to foster the notion that we're still using "printed ballots." We're not. Oh, you're handed a paper ballot, but that hardly matters, because all your voting is done by touch screen.  By touching the screen, you're sending a digital signal that can be stored, transmitted, read, altered or eliminated by anyone, anywhere along the way from vote cast to vote count. The "printed ballot" is nothing but a prop. The real data is encoded when you select your choices and hit the "Submit your ballot" button on the screen. 

The digital stuff not only manages and records your votes' values, but also draws your votes really beautifully on the paper. The fact that it looks as good as it does confirms that your choices were digitally translated and designed according to the voting machine's layout program.  So no matter what the polling people tell you, your votes were digitally encoded the second you cast them.

After you vote, the machine lets you inspect the printed piece of paper to confirm your choices, but then it insists that you feed it back into the machine, ostensibly so it can be tallied. I say ostensibly, because the digital information has already been trapped by the machine and could be anywhere on the internet.  Which led me to the following question:

Why even bother with a printed ballot, unless you want people to believe they're really voting with a paper ballot?  

There's no way anyone other than a highly-trained techno-professional could tell what's being transmitted where, but I can tell you this much: Throughout the entire experience, people's phones were going off all over the place, which means the facility was not RF protected, and that any digital device from cell phones to bluetooth modems could have been sending anything, anywhere, at any given time. 

Not exactly high security. Especially when you consider that most courthouses block RF frequencies in order to keep their proceedings secure. That's why you can't use your phone in a lot of trials. Heck, even music concerts have wireless blocking technology to keep audiences from streaming the shows to their friends in real time on Facebook or Instagram. 

But your local polling place has nothing. It's wide open for anyone to intercept anything

Overall, my visit didn't do much to instill much trust in the system. In fact, it only increased my concerns about the integrity of our election systems.  I don't know if the game is rigged, but I do know that Josef Stalin was on to something when he mused how getting votes isn't nearly as important as counting them. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Myth of Growth Stocks

Let me start this off by saying that I am not a financial advisor.  I hold no certificates. No degrees in finance. No authorizations from the SEC or anyone else. I'm just a man who looks at stuff and wonders why nobody else questions anything, including investments.  And here's what I've found:

Everyone is getting head faked.

At the time of this writing, it seems that everything in the world is going to hell in a hand basket. If you listen to the media, you're getting some pretty heavy blood-letting in your portfolio. So the first thing you have to do is what every healthy, red-blooded American should be doing every day: ignore the media. Financial reporters have no idea of how, why or where to invest.  They simply repeat what the last guy reported on another channel, then go home to the wife and kids.

The second thing you need to do is look at the calendar:  If you're over 50, you have no business being in any kind of growth stocks.  Sound unreasonable? Not really. Because growth stocks are a huge head fake.  They're nothing but air until you sell them.  Most people strut around with their financial statements, bragging about how they bought low and now -- would you just look at how high this thing went?  What they don't realize is that there's nothing there.  That's why the IRS classifies that as unrealized gains. Until you sell them, those gains are nothing.

Talk to people whose growth stocks crashed in 2008, 2020 and again in 2022. Sure they bought low.  Then they watched them go high.  A few years later, they all cratered and all that was left was a few years of nothing. At the time of this writing, Amazon, Tesla, Twitter, Target, WalMart and a slew of other media sweethearts have lost about 30% of their value, dragging down all those "well-managed mutual funds" with them.

If you're going to invest in equities, understand the basics:  When the American stock market was invented in the late 18th century, it had one purpose:  profit sharing.  That's it. A company needed capital, you gave them some and they paid you dividends. Simple.  The only reason why share prices rose was that shares in any company were limited in number -- just like today. If you coveted shares in a company but couldn't find them, you'd have to offer a shareholder a premium over what he paid and voilå: you owned those shares. Hence the notion of "growth stocks." But equity shares were never meant to be traded as a means of investment, because trading shares isn't investment -- it's speculation with odds even less reliable than those in Las Vegas.  You're essentially praying for a growth stock's share value to go up.  In the meantime, the growth stock pays you nothing while you're a-wishing and a-hoping.

The beauty of dividends is that they're real value, not promises; they're cold, hard cash. Once you receive your dividends, nobody can take them from you.  They can't go down in value. They're the only tangible, solid profit you can honestly say you own.  Which is why if you're over fifty years of age, those are the only kinds of issues you want. Leave all the fly-by-night, media-hyped growth stocks to people either too young or too stupid to understand they're investing in air with no safety net or tangible benefit.

Too harsh? Consider this: ever since Jimmy Carter's disastrous Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, financial institutions claimed to be "spreading the risk" by packaging super risky mortgage loans with legitimately A+ mortgages ("Collateralized Mortgage Obligations" or "CMO").  Then the highest caliber rating services assured investors that the CMOs were A+.  Except that in 2007, so many of those notes failed that they ignited a financial holocaust that destroyed Bear Sterns and a number of so-called "professional" financial houses.

So much for the experts.

Everything else you've ever heard or seen in the investment world is total banana oil, designed to make the system look more complicated so that you don't bother your broker with pesky questions.  Besides, they have no idea what they're doing, since most stockbrokers are actually salesmen whose only task is to bring in money which they hand off to "money managers" who know even less. Derivatives, futures, options, shorts, covered calls: you name it, it's all speculation, inventions with no real purpose other than attracting unsuspecting investors' money.

The truth is that none of those brokers will tell you how to generate real income because most are too lazy to figure it out.  But you're not, especially with today's online brokerage search tools (i.e., Ameritrade and other online platforms), that allow you to make really smart decisions and really decent returns.  If you can use a search engine to find porn, you can use an online brokerage's search engine to find great equities -- and you don't have to erase your browser's history!

Personally, I have a few guidelines that have treated me well: I stay away from growth stocks, funds, glamor stocks, international issues, tech, pharma, transportation and most but not all financials. I don't do bonds. I don't do metals. I avoid brokers, media and rating services.  I stick with American dividend-paying stocks that stay off the radar, where life is good and earnings can exceed 12% a year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

John F. Kennedy Invades Ukraine

Those of you who know me also know I spent the better part of my career manipulating hearts of minds for the highest bidder.  I make no apologies for that. I set my own ethical boundaries under the rationale that nobody really gets hurt by switching toothpaste or driving a different kind of car.  Of course, after that many decades, it's become easy for me to spot when a messaging game is rigged.  The truth is that there never has been and never will be an occasion where (to paraphrase Lincoln) "all of the people were fooled all of the time."  So whenever I see a tidal wave of "unanimous popular opinion," I can smell something a lot different.

And there's definitely something in the air floating around Ukraine and Russia.

Let me start by saying I have no skin in this game. I care less about what you think than why you think it.  You and I could spend hours playing Who's More Horrible without either one declaring victory.  But if you really want to gain insight about what's happening over there, you need to know about two things:

1.  Russian history

2.  John F. Kennedy  

If you know anything about Russia and its history, this is all playing out very predictably, and the first thing you need to know is that Russia is not simply a Communist version of the United States. Far from it: Even transitioning from its monarchy to Communism to its present form hasn't changed the basic Russian persona, just as centuries haven't changed the American personality.  

Keep reading.  This makes sense:

While not as xenophobic as China, Russia has always been suspicious of the west.  That's because unlike America, Russia has never had one, central cultural ideology that could unify its regions spanning eleven different time zones. As a result, Russian "unification" has always been impressed upon the country through authoritarianism -- sometimes very harshly. This "top down" nationalism is not organic in the way "from the ground up" nationalism is in the west, where nations like the USA established themselves through common cause. In Russia, cultural infighting is practically a national pastime, which means Russian unity has always been fragile at best, as we saw most recently when the Soviet Union collapsed.

This fragility heightens Russian concerns of foreign intrusion -- and justifiably so. Most people know nothing of Russia's history, but if you read up on it, you'll find two common threads throughout Russian history: 

1. Authoritarian leadership suppresses cultural differences across those 11 time zones, and despite the west's disapproval, has proven the only effective means to that end.  Note that I never said it was successful, but if that's the best they can do, Russia keeps doing it.

2. The Russian agenda can and does turn on a dime, driven by self-interest.

This time around, Putin sees the European Union and NATO as alliances of explicit military and economic threat. He doesn't want missiles on his borders and has repeatedly let the west know that. So when Ukraine, Russia's immediate neighbor to the west, begins kissing up to NATO, the west and the World Economic Forum, it's very much a matter for Russian concern.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should:  John F. Kennedy tried and failed to secure American borders with his Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba (even Teddy Roosevelt wanted to "secure" Cuba as a matter of national security.  That failed, too).  And Kennedy's Cuban Missile crisis was practically a blueprint for Putin's recent actions: Back then, Russian Prime Minister Nikita Krushchev planted nuclear missiles just 95 miles away from Florida, and Kennedy was having none of it.  The saber rattling never got to the point of actual military conflict, but it came close enough to send everyone north of Tampa scurrying for their bomb shelters.

The media is also not reporting a piece of history that would seem critical to know: Putin is not claiming the two eastern-most provinces as part of Russia, but instead "recognizes their claims of independence they asserted in 2017." Didn't know that?  Well, it happened.  It was official  It just wasn't reported.  Neither was the widespread conflict in both of those provinces which are culturally and geographically closer to Russia.

Taking the Russian-speaking provinces to his west was the only remedy Putin felt he had left to retain a "neutral buffer zone" that was *supposed* to be Ukraine.  That buffer zone was fine until Zelensky started drifting over to the west, WEF, the NWO -- and NATO.  That's when Ukraine became a threat and that's when and why the Russian tanks started rolling in.

Didn't know any of that? Maybe that's because everyone prefers protecting their special interests rather than comprehensively discussing anything that doesn't fit their agenda.  Think about that before you the next time your friends start waving their Ukrainian flags while sipping their lattés -- or sending America's sons and daughters off to war.

Monday, January 24, 2022

In Spock We Trust

If you really want to know why the world is as messed up as it is, there are five people you can blame:  John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John F. Kennedy.  Not that any of them ever claimed to be nefarious villains plotting world domination. The truth is that none of them actually knew they were setting humanity on a course of destruction as they were actually doing it.

Before you go searching for hidden messages in their speeches and lyrics, let me assure you that you won't find any, because the real crimes they committed was actually one crime they all committed: they successfully achieved goals previously only attainable by men three times their ages.

If you know your history, you know that prior to 1960, nobody in the western world expected to be a millionaire before turning 50. In those days, the legends dictated that hard work and persistence would eventually be rewarded with good fortune.  If you wanted to achieve greatness any other way, you'd probably have to marry the boss's daughter.  Other than that, millionaires took the form of the Monopoly man, balding, graying, with a little paunch and maybe a mustache.

The Beatles and JFK changed all that.

In 1960,at the age of 43, John Kennedy became the youngest candidate elected to the presidency in American history.  In 1964, the Beatles were, in John's own words, "bigger than Jesus Christ," and millionaires in their own right, ranging in age from 20 to 23. Which means that in the span of three years, one of the world's greatest wishes was granted and one of its major tenets was destroyed: 

You really could be young and have it all (I go into detail about this in my book).

By 1960, the boomer youth culture that began in the late 1950s increased by an order of magnitude, as well-monied, big spending boomers cultivated a tsunami of hedonism that eventually raised the divorce rate, broke up the family, inspired feminism and produced the Me Decade that spawned super selfish fortunes and corporate greed.  But there was a far more insidious force in play: the replacement of sound, critical thinking with feelings and non-accountability. Somewhere along the line, steady, rational processes gave way to short cuts and self-indulgence.

On this, I speak from personal experience.  I was raised during this time as most traditional notions of family, sex, honor, thought and justice were summarily thrown on the scrap heap in favor of feeling good and "just getting it done without really understanding why." I was a sophomore in college, hopelessly confused about growing up.  I mean, I could pose along with the best of them, but I had no idea why I was doing whatever it was I was doing. The thing is, neither did anyone else. We all sprinkled our conversations with familiar hack phrases that made it seem we knew what we were talking about, but we really didn't.  And yet we all graduated college, some with honors.

To me, nothing made sense and everything ran counter to traditional development of confidence and character.  It became increasingly difficult to figure out not only what to do with my life, but how to go about even thinking about it.

And then one day, I found myself in front of my old, seven inch black and white portable Sony television, watching an old episode of the original Star Trek, where Mr. Spock was calmly explaining to the rest of the Enterprise crew that their seemingly desperate situation wasn't hopeless, and that with a simple application of logic, a solution was at hand.

I was thunder-stuck. In one moment, I realized that all of my own conflicts were due to an upbringing in which feelings and ego had replaced construct and character.  This was the reason why nothing in my youthful life made sense: Up to that point, nothing in my head had been required to make sense, so nothing ever worked. 

That was the instant that my life changed forever.

From that very second, I committed to never making even the most trivial decision without logical, accountable analysis. And when I say trivial, I'm talking about things as minor as how to leave a room so that I'd never have to retrace my steps after closing the front door. I'd literally sit on the edge of my bed, planning the most efficient means of leaving my roach-ridden apartment in the most time-efficient manner possible.

It worked.

Within a few months, everything in my life, from my grades to my (first) girlfriend sprang up like roses around me. I reveled in the rewards brought to me by simple reason.  I never looked back and have enjoyed those rewards ever since. I was lucky. Spock spoke and I listened. Others, however, have not fared so well.

To this day, many of my peers and their offspring, still haven't realized that the world revolves on logic, analysis and critical thinking.  They applaud statues being felled, dictionaries being redefined, history and curricula being rewritten to accommodate and soothe their juvenile frustrations, even though most of them are now senior citizens. Of course, they're easy marks for clearer thinkers, but the fact there are so many of them, makes it seem as if they're insurmountable.  They're not. A lifetime of screaming and kicking and holding their breaths until they turn blue is now coming to fruition -- and the fruit is plenty rotten.

It's almost over. Logic and reason always wins out.  As the man says, "Live long and prosper."

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Mourning Holistic Accountability

History is replete with misinformation.  For example, a lot of people are under the impression that Henry Ford invented the automobile. He did not.  By the time Ford got into the business, horseless carriages had been rolling along for sometime.  Some vehicles were electric. Some were powered by steam.  The gas-driven internal combustion engine was somewhat late to the game.  In fact, long before the invention of the internal combustion engine, gasoline was considered to be a waste product of the oil industry, whose main product was not fuel, but lighting oil for lamps.  Midway through the 19th century, rivers in Pennsylvania churned with John D. Rockefeller's gasoline as it rushed along the countryside,

But that's not what concerns me here.  What really concerns me is Henry Ford's true contribution to the decomposition of the American -- if not the world's -- human condition.

To be precise, Henry Ford's real contribution to modern society was his revolutionizing the labor process.  Ford was the one who hired efficiency experts who pronounced his means of assembling products as costly and inefficient.  Their recommended remedy was the assembly line, in which each man on the line performed only one task.  The theory was that by specializing at that one task, each man could perform his task faster and at a higher level of output.

The theory proved true, and from that day forward, anyone producing any kind of mass-produced product adapted Ford's assembly line to their own production facilities.

History will tell you that Ford's innovation not only made his cars more affordable, but also raised the wages of his laborers to the highest in the industry (Ford was famous for rejecting unionization by paying his workers more than the unions demanded, a situation that eventually deteriorated under latter day management). 

What history doesn't mention, however, is the real cost of Ford's innovation, and it goes something like this:

Prior to his assembly line, any and all labor possessed a quality I call holistic accountability.  Simply put, it means that craftsmen owned their projects from inception through completion.  They conceived, planned, engineered, constructed and finished their products, taking care along each step to assure its integration into the overall design.  If a step didn't fit perfectly, the craftsman went back and made adjustments until it did.  It was only after verifying its integrity that he'd move on to the next phase of the project. Back then, products were "built to last a lifetime" and craftsmanship was often the basis of personal pride.

Ford's assembly line essentially obliterated all that.  By displacing labor efficiency with economic efficiency, each worker on the assembly line became task-oriented, doing only his job without much regard for its overall integration into the product as a whole.  The result, as you experience to this very day, was devastating to our society: In the wink of an eye, "a job well done" devolved into "it's not my job."

The atomization of the workforce is a direct descendant of Ford's assembly line. It's the reason why the guy in the produce section can't tell you where to find canned tuna fish, or why the woman at Window #2 sends you to Window #3.  Perhaps the most cinematic illustration is the moment in the 1993 movie Falling Down, when the fast food joint won't serve breakfast at 11:35 because "we stop serving breakfast at 11:30."

Need more?  Try getting a medical diagnosis without traipsing to a minimum of three doctors, each of whom specializes in something so narrow and focused that he won't commit to anything outside his own specialty. Hop on a customer service call, and if you can get past the automated menu, see how many people are required to "get you to the right department for that."

This is what happens to a society that ethically, morally, economically and politically disengages from holistic accountability.  Everyone stares at his own navel with no regard for the big picture.  Meanwhile, thousands of companies hire human resource directors who hire coaches and motivational speakers to unite the company -- because it isn't their job.

There's a reason why we attach value to descriptors like "hand-made" while we eschew terms like "mass-produced."  It's become the hallmark of genuine quality and holistic accountability.  It's true of every product you buy -- and even truer for every child you produce.

Monday, January 03, 2022

The Rule of Big

As the world careens mindlessly from the conditions I pointed out years ago (A Nation of Children), it seems that the data is in, and that much to many people's chagrin, I was right:  The undermining of America's most prominent brands and institutions is well under way -- for all the same reasons.

This isn't my opinion, mind you.  This is pure, raw data supplied to the public by no less than Dow Jones, whose job it is to track this stuff. I just interpret the more far-reaching conclusions, and believe me, they're not good:

According to Dow Jones:

Walt Disney, Verizon, and Boeing, as well as California-based biopharmaceutical firm Amgen and tech conglomerate Honeywell, were the worst stocks of 2021, according to stock market index Dow Jones.  Disney and Verizon stocks saw double-digit percentage losses, while the other three firms booked losses in the single digits.

Not too pretty, is it?  And yet it was completely predictable.  Not because these giants are incapable of healthy growth and profitability; but because all of them have abdicated their founders' brand strategies.  The fact that brands grow and die is nothing new. The manner in which they grow and die, however, has changed.  And here's how:

There's an old adage about the Three Generations of Wealth:  "The first generation creates it.  The second generation spends it.  The third generation loses it."  As a rule of thumb, it's pretty accurate for both family and corporate brands.  Think about the canny progenitors who founded companies like Ford and families like the Kennedys, and then think about their grandchildren and great-grandchildren,  an army of inept buffoons who steer the ship on to the rocks so predictably that the phenomenon has inspired its own HBO series (Succession).

Ever wonder why this happens with such regularity?  Well, it happens precisely because of the brands' successes. It's the same scenario, deployed repeatedly across families, enterprise, education and government.  I call the the Rule of Big and it goes like this:

The size of the entity is inversely proportional to its structural strength.

What that means is that the larger the brand, the less need people see for maintaining and nurturing the brand, which weakens the brand overall.  Back in the day, an old saw was that "nobody went broke buying IBM," on the theory that IBM was a dominant market player and would never do anything to forsake that position.  That was in the 1960s.  Take a look at IBM and its market today.  Not too pretty.  Same story with Xerox. Remember when "he went to Harvard law school" meant something?  Today, not so much, although people too lazy to think still accept its mythic value..  The Rule of Big ensures that most large entities begin to atrophy and die, like huge blue whales slowly decomposing -- not from sharks, but from tiny, greedy, self-involved bacteria.

People mindlessly jump on gravy trains simply because the brands, families, universities and governmental agencies are huge, figuring that if they're that big, they must know what they're doing.  What they don't realize is that the larger the entity, the less focused the brand is on its core strategy.  The result is less attention to productivity and more distraction on non-business matters, such as diversity hiring and cause marketing, neither of which contribute to core deliverables and both of which contribute directly to brand atrophy.

Doubt that the Rule of Big exists? Take a look at "some of the biggest universities" across the country. Is there anyone, anywhere who takes Harvard, Yale or U.C. Berkeley seriously anymore? Does anyone view the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times as anything close to impartial sources of news?  Start looking around, and notice how many things in your life simply aren't as reliable as they once were. Don't even get me started on medical information.

Why should you care?  Take a closer look at those equities listed above.  How many are in your investment portfolio or 401K? Do you even know? Or have you been lumped into a "highly rated fund" composed of equities you were too lazy to investigate?

Has the Rule of Big lulled you into being one of the walking dead who figures "my investment firm is one of the largest in the country?" Newsflash:  Your fund manager knows even less than you do.  He probably can't even define collateralized mortgages -- and it was his company reliance on them that caused the financial meltdown. 

Maybe it's time you looked at the real data yourself.  Maybe it's time you realized that the Rule of Big is everywhere -- and getting even bigger.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Trust Me...I'm a Doctor

With the ascent of social media, it seems as if everyone has suddenly become an expert on just about everything, regardless of education or experience.  That's just the way it is in social media: everyone can say what they wish with complete impunity, the only accountability being the possibility of being cancelled or "fact-checked" by yet another entity that's likely even less educated and experienced.

Now that viruses and vaccines have captured the imaginations, fears of America's leisure time, I find the most interesting responses among all sides of the debates to run along the lines of, "What are your qualifications?" or "Can you provide a source for that?" or the ever-famous, "Really? Who made you a doctor?"

It's that last one I enjoy the most, because from where I sit, merely being a doctor doesn't hold nearly the currency it once did. Hear me out on this.  More than likely, I've been around at least as long, if not longer than you, and you might find this interesting.

To really understand what modern doctors are, you have to begin with what doctors once were.  Back in the nineteenth century, western medicine was still mostly guesswork and hardly recognizable as what we know today. In fact, it was only by the late nineteenth century that John D. Rockefeller's University of Chicago help displace homeopathy as America's go-to medical discipline. Prior to that, grandma's remedy or Aunt Hattie's root tonic stood just as good a chance of curing what ailed you as anything else. Since then, however, scientific medicine has ruled the roost. 

But there was a transition period of almost 100 years, where both approaches were considered with a healthy dose of critical thinking, during which a doctor observed, questioned, and then drew conclusions as to how to treat a patient's condition.  The ability of a physician to draw on a broad, diverse library of data, coupled with an extensive knowledge of appropriate treatment resulted in the reverence of doctors as highly knowledgable, well-respected members of society's highest order.

In other words, these were the smartest guys on the block, because they knew what  to think and how  to think.  Not so much anymore.

First, there's simply a lot more to know:  Most doctors are no longer general practitioners. By far, most physicians are specialists, with little real depth outside their fields of expertise. That seems fair, given that there's much more to know about any particular field of medicine than there was previously.  I mean, when you deep dive on liver function, there's not much time left over for pulmonary or cerebral research.

Secondly, the advent of digital media has displaced critical thinking. With every kind of diagnostic test reduced to a numerical score, doctors have become overwhelmingly reliant on numbers instead of observation and reasoning.  This is why the most common refrain in medicine has become, "Let's run some more tests."

Lest you think this is of no real consequence, allow me to illustrate this true story:

Not too long ago, an elderly relative was admitted to the hospital, suffering from wild swings in her blood pressure. The woman had purchased a home blood pressure monitor and throughout the day, noticed it soaring and plummeting so badly that her doctor called her in for "observation and testing."  Two days in, tests showed nothing.  The doctor somberly called me into the hallway and whispered, "I think you should prepare yourself; it could be cancer."

I wasted no time and responded, "Are you out of your mind? Have you considered the fact that she's gone crazy with that home blood pressure kit you advised her to get and all it does is increase her anxiety?" The doctor looked at me and replied, "Hmmm.  Maybe a baby dose of Lexapro would help.'  Yup.  It was that quick.  And it was the right diagnosis, because she's 90 years old today and humming like a well-tuned Chevy.  

Makes you think twice about labeling something a vaccine that actually has no working resemblance to anything like a vaccine.  But you'd have to think critically to want to know that.

The over-reliance on digital numbers, along with a complete lack of critical thinking has reduced the status and ability of doctors to claim their once-respected thrones.  Like airline pilots, who have been reduced to flying bus drivers, today's doctors are pretty much auto mechanics for people.  So the next time someone calls you out for "not being a doctor," don't be insulted.

Consider it a badge of honor.