Friday, May 2, 2008

Dancing Around The Flatline

I am in the middle of a full-blown eye allergy attack. Haven't suffered from allergies in years ... 25-yrs to be exact. That was when I finished up a 2-yr allergy desensitization program involving injecting myself with increasingly larger doses of the things I was allergic to so as to force my immune system to realize these were harmless things and not to overreact everytime a cat walked by or a ragweed blew around in the wind. This go-round, I am mainly having eye allergies ... you know the red, itchy, swollen, stayed-out-too-late-drinking-the-night-before eyes, except in this case, I've been fighting a constant battle for a couple weeks. The battle is to keep my hands away from my eyes. They are so swollen & itchy that without mind control, my hands simply cannot restrain themselves.

So with eyes like this, I need to stay indoors, but my time spent watching TV, reading or at the computer is very limited because my eyes are too irritated to focus. It hasn't stopped me from LISTENING to the news however. What I've been hearing has me thinking:

A couple days ago, it was announced that our GDP growth ("the broadest measure of US economic health") for Jan-Mar 2008 was .6% (that's 6/10ths of 1%). Well, that certainly lets Bush off the hook, doesn't it? I mean, now he can officially say we are NOT in a recession! Since there are only three more quarters left in this year, and since a recession is defined as two CONSECUTIVE quarters of negative GDP, I imagine he is breathing a big sigh of relief that he won't be handing an official recession over to the next president.

Nevermind that most other economic factors indicate otherwise: job loss (240,000 jobs lost during Jan-Mar 2008), the ongoing & getting worse home mortgage crisis, inflation (which is offically being estimated at 4% this year, but which we all know is far far higher than that), increased costs of gas, food, everything! Are we looking at an economic FLATLINE, which is the final medical reading before pronouncing the patient's death?

And I have to say, knowing how much money the big war profiteers (oil corps, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc/etc) are making now, OBSCENE amounts of profits really .... just think how bad ALL other economic sectors must be doing for the OVERALL GDP to be an anemic .6% !

So, what does The Fed do in reaction to this news? They LOWER interest rates this week, for the 7th time since last Sept, making the Fed interest rate now 2.00%! Do these guys know what they are doing?

Lower interest rates will cheapen up money, encouraging people and businesses to borrow and spend more, which will in turn drive inflation up even more. Rate cuts put pressure on the US dollar, which in turn raises oil prices. In fact, oil prices are up 50% since last July when The Fed first started making noises about embarking on a prolonged rate cut policy. It sure looks like they are stoking inflation and oil prices just to keep technically saying we are NOT in a recession.

Today, I heard there were another 20,000 jobs officially "lost" in April. But we're supposed to feel good because they had originally projected 75,000 jobs would be lost in April. A total of 260,000 jobs have been lost since January 1, 2008. The CNN analyst reporting this tidbit actually laughed when asked if this portends a rebound!

They didn't even mention what the real economic fall-out is from job loss. Up and down the line, people will be hurting, real people who can no longer afford things like rent, health care and food. And thanks to Bush, the social service network has been cut back so severely, where will these people turn for help to survive? Will the beneficiaries of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy be willing to step up to the plate to help rebuild our social network? Like the CNN analyst, I am laughing at that idea!

I used to have a long standing belief that the wealthy class realized it was in their best interests to ensure a vibrant middle class. Without the middle class, there is nothing standing between them and the poor. I was sure they realized that masses of very poor people are unlikely to play by their rules. I wonder if they've heard of the latest phenomenon known as "home foreclosure rage"? This involves people who have become violent as they are foreclosed out of their homes. They trash everything in the home on their way out, ripping out cabinets, countertops, plumbing & light fixtures, doors and carpets. They use sledgehammers to destroy tile floors & punch big holes in the walls & ceilings. Why not, they figure? They are losing everything they worked for, they will realize no gain from the forced bank sale of their home, they are contemplating bankruptcy. Wealthy people need to take a clue from this. People who are fed up and have nothing to lose, will not refrain from property and maybe even personal violence. Mere anarchy is always about 3 night's sleep and/or 6 meals away!

Of course, the Dow seems to love all this since it finally burst through the 13,000 ceiling this week. Stoking inflation keeps the stock market rallying! After hearing this news, I was not surprised when the next TV commercial break featured LUNESTA "for a good night's sleep". Does anyone remember SOMA? Jeez, we need to be staying awake, not sleeping through this!


I believe that finishes my allergic rant to economic news. I would appreciate any ideas anyone has to help alleviate my itchy red swollen eyes. Right now, I'm taking anti-histamines & using natural tear eyedrops, cool compresses & just waiting for the allergy season to let up, hoping it was just something odd about this year. I can't use steroid meds, even nasal sprays. I really want to avoid having to go through the pain & expense of a desensitization program again. Last time I tested positive for so many thousands of allergens, the allergy clinic said there was virtually nothing I WASN'T allergic to!


an average patriot said...

Sorry to hear about your allergies! Sounds miserable and I hope the problem goes away soon.
You know, you just really made me think! I keep saying we are in a recession but the 2 economies will keep it from being recognized by historic standards.
The gap between the haves and have nots has been purposely widened in this creation of a new societal order. You turned on a light when you spoke of the record profits in Bush's oil and war mongering industries but you see what is happening to average Americans.
The idiot has created his own buffer from reality while creating a hell for many and he's still bragging about how great he is!

Fran said...

Poor baby! I live in the pollen capital of the world. We have so many trees, grasses & plants, our pollen counts get in the 800 ppm + range- it is an absolute assault on the sinuses. I can pop a claritin & have the runny nose & sneezing stop like flipping a switch.
Sometimes my eyes run-- but if it mostly a runny nose & sneezing reaction. People here do walk around with those white mouth & nose covers to block the pollen- so I really don't know what to recommend. Might want to wash the critters real well so they don't kick up dander. Keep windows closed. Have you tried one of those nasal wash things- since the sinuses & eyes are in teh same zone... the sinus flush tool (looks like a little watering can for your nose!) I think you use a little saline to change the ph in your sinuses. I have heard other people swear by it for colds & sinus infections, so I don't know if it would help for an allergic reaction. even if it provided some relief, that would be good.

DivaJood said...

I'm highly allergic to this administration - and there seems to be no solution to it.

Have you watched the Discovery Channel program about Alaska and the effects of global warming? (which doesn't help your allergies, either). Feel better.

D.K. Raed said...

Avg Patriot:
not only is "the idiot" still bragging about how great HE is, he gets upset & pounds his podium at the mere suggestion our economy is not doing as well as his have-more friends, profiting off this war. when he isn't doing that, he's putting on his phony compassionate voice mouthing the words "hard times, tough times" ... like he's ever known ANYTHING like that!

I've been hearing the pollen count between here & vegas has been record high this spring, so maybe it's not just me. Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, claritin (and all of those 24-hr OTC's) do absolutely nothing for my eyes, which are my main complaint now. Good suggestions about keeping the dust & dog dander down! We've had terrific winds for weeks & with all the radioactive soil around here, I worry about that as well.

Yesterday, I tried slathering some Lansinoh around my itchy eyes. It's fairly inert ("safe for nursing moms & babies" ... don't ask) so I figured it'd be OK around my sensitive eyes. It was amazingly effective in relieving the dry eye socket skin. I looked like a greased up piggie face, but who cares?

me, too! maybe that's the problem? but you bring up another possibility about global warming, which might be allowing more tropical plants to get a foothold up here & re-ignite my once-dormant allergies. I don't know if I've seen that specific Discovery program about Alaska, but I've seen specials about melting polar ice caps & how without them there is nothing to bounce the sun rays back up & so the earth is heating up. In fact, one program I saw compared the climate we seem to be on cusp of to what prevailed during the dinosaur's reign. Yikes!

Fran said...

The nasal flusher thing I was referring to is called a Netti pot. You can get them in health food stores- maybe even chain drugstores? Google netti & you will see. I think the plastic kind is around $9 bucks, you can buy a fancy ceramic one for $50, The high end model seems like a lot of $$ just to flush out your nose.

I know it is your eyes that are flaring up, but the sinuses are connected.

Let's hope it is not radioactive fallout dust.

Your eyes are not glowing & green-- are they?

D.K. Raed said...

Fran: lucky me, the winds we've been having died down yesterday afternoon & since then my nose is fine & even my eyes are much better. I've seen those nasal bulbs (I didn't know what they were called). If the winds return & I get bad again, I will try it. Kooden hoit!

Oh yes, my eyes are green, but that is their natural color, and they are definitely NOT glowing right now. Thanks for all your suggestions. Husband washed windows & light fixtures/ceil fans, while I thoroughly vacuumed yesterday (even all the furniture, so there was no dust to dust). We have a 'whole house' vacuum, so all the dust/lint goes out to a big bin in the garage. We used a metal shedding tool on the dogs (they were just bathed last week) & got out a TON of fur! I think it all helped.

enigma4ever said...

you poor thing..I am so sorry that you have this going on.....the agony of puffy eyes...I hear you....( cucumbers are cooling...or green tea bags help)....

I I KNOW I am very very allergic to pantsuits and Hillary in a Pantsuit...

D.K. Raed said...

Today was much better, thanks. Been using cool compreses, but I should've remembered green tea bags. Hey, I know at least one good use use for a Hill pantsuit if you are ever out of kleenex for a very wet sneeze.

TomCat said...

I think I'm allergic to Repuglican politicians. I don't want to be desensitized!

D.K. Raed said...

hmmm, a good HOUSE cleaning might help with your allergies, too. House of Reps, Senate and White House -- clean sweep.

TomCat said...

Amen!! :-)