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I’m taking Arvostatin but should I stop?

Like a lot of people I’m taking Arvostatin so I watched the Catalyst program that makes the argument that such drugs are over prescribed, especially to those with minimal risk factors. To be entirely Francis I now have some doubts about the drug and wonder if my marginally raised cholesterol levels really justify the daily dose when (for example) diet and lifestyle changes could give the same result.

Norman Swan of the ABC’s health report is very concerned about the program, so much so that he has unequivocally denounced it as potentially life threatening:

from the AGE, click for source

from the AGE, click for source

It was clear to me that the point of the program was to argue that it is the very broad prescription of Statins as a general prophylactic may not be such a good idea and that for many people who take the drug the side effects may well be more problematic than the potential benefits. As an informed medical services consumer I am going to discuss this with my GP when I next see him because I am concerned that I may be experiencing the muscle pain that was mentioned in the Catalyst program. I can’t help thinking though that those like Norman Swan may just be underestimating the people that the medical profession are supposed to serve. Surely a population that takes the time to be informed about such health issues will benefit by being able to make informed health choices.
As for the indigenous people and others who Swan thinks may cark it if they cease taking the pills, well my guess is that they have enough other health issues that would have hastened their end anyway so perhaps his concerns about this are rather over stated.

Swann has on many occasions suggested that people should be  wary of exaggerated claims of efficacy when it comes to various medical treatments so I find his position on this frankly rather surprising and just a  bit disappointing.and more that a bit condescending. The evidence that Statins do what their makers claim in reducing Cholesterol levels is clear to me form my own blood tests but that still leaves unanswered the question of how much benefit this will have to the longevity of those of us who take them. In the end isn’t the point that we should live longer and enjoy better health from taking this drug?  If the claims of the program that it will make little difference to they majority of users are correct then doesn’t it suggest that fewer people really need to take the drug and that perhaps the profession needs to work on deciding just who it is should be using the drug and who is wasting their time by popping the pills?

Cheers Comrades

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Radical honesty, or strapped for tact.

We live  our lives steeped in expectations that we should be eternally vigilant lest we upset the feelings of others and you know what I can see the social value of that in providing a sort of social lubricant  that belies the need to explain what you really feel and then to subsequently ameliorate any unintended hurt or offence that your straight shooting honesty may have caused. This when someone asks us  what we think about that new outfit or hairdo  we are more likely than to give them some sort of positive affirmation even when we sincerely think the result is, well, not an improvement or even at all atheistically pleasing. It takes an effort to do this if you are at all self-aware  and one thing that chronic pain does is make you hyper-self -aware and often  rather strapped for tact.

In the normal course of the day I don’t actually see that many people and those I do see tend to be those I genuinely care about so its rather easy to make the effort not to be brutally  honest in my interactions with them. For those who are out side this circle of compassion I seem to be generally able to at least be neutral in my responses to their clear need for affirmation.

One of the downsides of our Christian society seems to be the rather  bizarre expectation that no matter how much someone has sinned against you  you are expected to offer them compassion and concern when they are laid low by some major health crisis. No matter how much of an arse they have been it is clearly considered bad form to be radically honest with them about your indifference  to their plight or worse yet to suggest that they may have even deserved  their medical  misfortune.  Frankly I say no to this sort of dishonesty and if ever there is a time for some radical honesty its when your self styled enemies are having to perform a bit of self reflection about the way they live their lives and to contemplate their own mortality. If they have offended you I see nothing wrong whatsoever in sharing to the seductive pleasure of schadenfreude   with the object of your disdain an appreciation of Karma, that in the larger scheme of things there is a sort of divine justice.   It is after all just how I feel about the acts and behaviour of others and even myself. We all carry a chain that is forged by the things that we do in our lives and of course I acknowledge that I have my own clanking baggage, but I can’t change the past  and I refuse submit to any regret or the vain wish that the timeline be different. All that I can do is live in the now as I now think is the most honest and honourable manner to show as much kindness as I can to the deserving and as little cruelty  to those who deserve it as I can.

Cruelty is rather like chilli, a little is a fine garnish  but too much causes burning at both ends and can even be fatal in a high concentrations. If we are radically honest with ourselves then we can admit that we all, on occasion, take some delight in the suffering of  an enemy or unpleasant opponent in an argument.  I am all together too radically honest sometimes but that is just the way I am and I see no reason to change that. In fact I think that the world would be a better place if at least some of the hypocritical artifice of  faux eternal care and compassion were stripped away from our social intercourse in person and especially on the internet where false flags  are sadly all to common.   I can’t help thinking that those who make the biggest fuss about my radical honesty are not actually upset  by the apparent cruelty of my disdain but the underlying fear that I might just be right. Frankly there is nothing that upsets a sinner like pointing out their sins and the divine justice that they have so well  earned by the way that they conduct themselves in this all too short turn upon the wheel of life.

Cheers Comrades.



Sarah Traynor

Losing a child to a tragic accident is undoubtedly a terrible thing and  but unless it is entirely necessary I tend to think that then adding to the misery of the family by performing unnecessary dissection of the deceased should be a last resort rather than a matter of routine.


click for source

So I am rather pleased that the courts have stopped the autopsy after all with modern imaging techniques like CAT scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging  enable forensic examination without mutilation. I may seem like a small thing to some people but if the grief of a family can be eased, even a little by such a small thing then why should it will be denied?

With respect comrades


Smoke gets in your eyes and the Iain Hall tick of approval

Both of my parents were smokers and when I was growing up it was unusual to meet anyone who did not smoke something.So I  was like a lot of schoolboys and  dabbled with the dreaded coffin nails a but I just got nothing out of it and I managed to avoid developing the habit. That said when my father was dying from M S the thing that distressed him most was that the staff in the nursing home would not let him smoke. He was bed bound nearly blind and wasted away yet it was the gaspers that he dreamed about.  Now as I get older and watch my children grow older I am delighted to see that smoking is in very serious decline so I am glad to see that the habit is discouraged by this otherwise bad Labor government  and that their plain packaging legislation has survived the challenge in the courts. from the tobacco companies.

Make the most of it Ray because this is one of the few time when I’m going to give this government the Iain Hall tick of approval!

Cheers Comrades


Idiotous jetskius fatalus

Its usually Ray’s thing to denounce that menace on the waters, Idiotous jetskius   but this morning I’m making note of the fact that we seem to exported an even nastier subspecies, namely Idiotous jetskius fatalus :

click for source

Readers will notice the part of my screen shot that I have highlighted which points to a failed attempt to destroy the evidence made by the female of the species. Sadly the authorities in Hawaii are unlikely to either euthanase or even just neuter the members of this pernicious species so they can’t breed . The world would be a better place if they did.

Cheers Comrades

In pursuit of “Perfect” Female Genitals with a knife

The rise and rise of cosmetic surgery as a consumer product never ceases to amaze me especially when it comes to some of the procedures that people will pay to have preformed upon themselves, often for the most facile reasons. This Branch of medicine is more about making money for its practitioners than really living up to the tenets of the Hippocratic oath. So when I see that someone is campaigning to try to ameliorate the worst excesses of this cohort of mutilators I take note here at The Sandpit:

click for source

There is as much variety in the form female genitals as there is in women’s faces and long may that be so. However I suspect that the culprit is actaully magazines and imagery that is produced for female consumption and the fashion industry in general which promotes some rather unhealthy ideas about beauty. Constantly suggesting that their is one unrealistic template for female perfection.

Cheers Comrades



Legal Good time, Legal lime time, and Justice

One of my passions is justice and I suppose my view of what is actaully just is very much a product of my life experience and I expect that I’m much like most people in that respect. Unlike some on in the profession of getting Crims off so that they can minimise the consequences of their abhorrent social behaviour I don’t actaully have much time for the excuse that some sort of mood disorder like depression should be used as an argument in mitigation when they are being sentenced:

click for source

Even those with mood disorders like depression know the difference between right and wrong and really only those people suffering from mental illnesses severe enough to totally  destroy their reason deserve to get substantial leniency for their criminal acts.

Perhaps the time has come to make it clear that such excuses are actaully just bullshit invented by the whores of the legal, profession (members of the Bar) who spend their time grasping at any reason to argue that their criminal clients should get a lighter sentence than they deserve, worse still are the judges who buy into such bullshit and provided the leniency sought by members of the oldest legal profession.

Cheers Comrades

Craig Thomson, Julia Gillard’s tainted love?

Yesterday I compared the Craig Thomson affair to Cancer and if I can extend the analogy just a little  further  a little I would suggest that it is a terminal cancer, not only will it be be end for the member for Dobell  but it is  certainly causing serious damage to the greater body of the Government party. No matter how much of the Radiotherapy of government spin is applied to this cancer the tumour just keeps dividing and growing and making itself more prominent.

click for source

Of course a far more healthy patient that the Gillard Government would have long ago excised the cancer while it was still small enough to be removed without killing the patient, but Gillard does not lead a healthy party. hers is a government that has been on life support since it got its collective bums on the treasury benches and there is no prospect of the machine that goes ping being unnecessary any time soon. Of course Conservatives like me can bathe in the Schadenfreude of this government’s woes but we should all be rather saddened that a bad government continues to do damage to the nation because its cancer treatment is managing to keep the tumour at bay even as the rot spreads further and further through the the Party’s root system. What I keep thinking is when are the hard heads in the party’s immune system going to realise that if the party is to survive beyond the term of this government that the tumour has to be excised?

Cheers Comrades

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