1. HappyMonday

    HappyMonday Moderator

    Genuine question, though it may sound as though I'm preparing to attack your claim, that's not the intent:

    What science have you come across that has examined the fundamental lack of honesty and integrity in governments? I mean, I can think of plenty of examples based on your post, but I would like to see some actual data on the restrictive and controlling nature of governments.
  2. Brandon

    Brandon New Member


    Science involving government would be political science, yes? I studied physics and mathematics, I know nothing of political science except that it's a different breed of science than I'm used to. But as for examples, I would think there are as many examples as there were governments. Greek democracy lasted about 80 years, I think. Take your pick of governments between then and the revolutionary era (1770-1800) and almost all governments in that span would exhibit tendencies to control and inhibit freedom, some much worse than others. Just in modern history, we have gulags, pogroms and concentration camps as examples of government action that outright incarcerated or exterminated humans by the tens of millions. We (if you're American) live in a country in which the government has very recently done away with the legal statutes ensuring due process. This president alone has laid the legal groundwork for indefinite detention and even the execution of American citizens.

    If we were discussing physics,I could tell you that there is much evidence that the entropy of a system held at a steady temperature will increase in time, and I could show you examples and empirical evidence. I imagine one could do that with governments and show that in many instances they tend toward corruption and control of society. From my worm's eye view, I can tell you that before the NY Safe Act (I live in NY), I was free to defend my life in my own home, should I have to, with firearms. That right has been restricted to 7 rounds of ammunition now. The day after the act was passed, hundreds of police departments complained and stated that officers cannot adequately defend themselves with only seven rounds in a magazine, so the government made an acceptation for law enforcement. Now officers can load their magazines to full capacity, something they say is necessary to defend themselves against armed criminals. The only people I would ever need to defend myself from are those same criminals, the exact same people. Not the same type of people, but the very same people the police say won't follow the law and must be met with force entailing the use of firearms loaded with more than 7 rounds. I'm here still, and forever, restricted to 7 rounds. My state government reduced my right to defend my own life and that of my family. And this trend is not specific to my state. This is happening everywhere, and despite how people feel about firearms, the rights of the people to own and use them are being restricted by government.
  3. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    There is a big difference between most gun owners and the police. Police TRAIN with their weapons regularly. While some gun owners will go to the range monthly, the majority of them rarely, if ever go. Not only that, but in general, the burglar that enters your home to steal, is not packing a large magazine. In fact many of them are not armed. Those home invasions that get a lot of press are rare and many of them involve criminals that either have a lot of money, drugs or GUNS in their homes. Other targets are small business owners that are known to keep a lot of cash at homes and undocumented immigrants that do not use banks.

    Immigrants are often a target of criminals. A couple of years ago, a local policeman was 'shaking down' day workers for their earnings. He is now in jail, where he belongs.

  4. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member


    For years, a small but vocal patient community has claimed that the medical establishment is ignoring its debilitating, horrifying-sounding disease. Morgellons, according to its sufferers, is characterized by tiny parasites living under the skin, which produce fiber-like substances that spring from lesions. While most doctors dismissed the disease as an outbreak of delusional parasitosis, Morgellons sufferers have insisted that it was insulting to be told that “it’s all in your head.” Many felt vindicated when the CDC decided to undertake a study of the ailment. Even when a 2011 Mayo Clinic study suggested that the disease is psychosomatic, the Morgellons community clung to hope that the CDC would vindicate them.
    But now the CDC’s report is out, and Morgellons activists are horrified: The study, carried out in Northern California, found no environmental or infectious cause, nor evidence of real parasites. The fibers, which many Morgellons patients have insisted were of composed of a substance that was unidentifiable by any lab, were mostly just pieces of fabric and skin fragments from repeated scratching. (You can read the full study on the Public Library of Science.) In conclusion, the CDC writes on its “Unexplained Dermopathy” page,

    This comprehensive study of an unexplained apparent dermopathy demonstrated no infectious cause and no evidence of an environmental link. There was no indication that it would be helpful to perform additional testing for infectious diseases as a potential cause. Future efforts should focus on helping patients reduce their symptoms through careful attention to treatment of co-existing medical, including psychiatric conditions, that might be contributing to their symptoms.
    For many who believe that Morgellons has ruined their lives, this is a bitter pill, and they don’t want to swallow it. They want reassurance that this is real. Joni Mitchell, who says she suffers from Morgellons, told the Los Angeles Times in 2010, "In America, the Morgellons is always diagnosed as 'delusion of parasites,' and they send you to a psychiatrist. I'm actually trying to get out of the music business to battle for Morgellons sufferers to receive the credibility that's owed to them." Another sufferer told the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, “We just want to be acknowledged. This is not a delusion."
    But those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, and no one is saying that they aren’t suffering. I believe the researchers would be the first to say that Morgellons patients are experiencing very real symptoms that adversely affect their lives. Psychosomatic does not mean they are “faking it”; it just means there is no medical cause. Still, they will search on, and perhaps become an increasingly insular and paranoid community. Already, some point to chemtrails as causing their symptoms; others, nanomaterials. The doctor on Respectful Insolence writes, “Unfortunately, it's probable that no amount of evidence will convince such people, at least until we find treatments that are effective in alleviating their symptoms. Maybe not even then.”

    The reluctance to accept the CDC study's results highlights the different ways society views medical conditions and psychological conditions. If we treated them equally, a psychosomatic diagnosis would not bother patients so much; but because of the stigma of mental illness, people are loath to accept such a diagnosis.
    For a long time, Morgellons sufferers have claimed that their suffering has been brushed off because the majority of them are women. As one wrote to the Washington Post in 2008, “Women's concerns have been routinely dismissed. Anxiety about childbirth? ‘Women have been having babies for millenia.’ Morning sickness? ‘There's no such thing; it's all in your head.’ ” This is a fair point; women have, historically, been patted on the head at times. But now, rigorous research supports the idea that this is not one of those occasions.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Gib

    Gib New Member

    Very disappointing to learn that about Joni Mitchell.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. tinkertailor

    tinkertailor Senior Member

    My dad is a huge Joni Mitchell fan and has recently been talking about morgellons as a very real disease because of that. When I discuss the science, break down the symptoms and the studies on it with him, he goes immediately to a place of "so you think Joni Mitchell is crazy". I think Joni's case is an excellent example of something I'm noting a lot as I interact with the real people who believe in things like morgellons: oversimplifying and saying that morgellons being delusory parisitosis means that its sufferers are crazy hurts efforts to educate people about it. I don't think morgellons sufferers are necessarily more mentally ill than someone who has, say, depression. It's a different kind of mental offness, sure, but it doesn't mean that morgellons sufferers don't function well, act in a typical way, and vibrantly contribute to their communities and the world.
  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Morgellons is often defined as a monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosis, which means they are overly irrational about one particular thing, but not necessarily about other things.

    It varies greatly by individual.
  8. Gib

    Gib New Member

    As far as I know everybody has occasional itches, and presumably some get them much more often than others do. Most itches are quite localised, and suppressed by scratching. Lately I have been getting a different kind of itch, on my arm or neck. This itch doesn't have such a well-defined location, seeming to occur over a wider area, and rather than suppressing it, scratching seems to exacerbate it. It goes away after a while (if left alone). There is no rash or any other visible sign. I've done a quick search for the reason for itches, but none of the explanations I've seen cover either the typical random itch or this more annoying kind. What causes itching? It doesn't seem to be well understood. Maybe it is some sort of anomalous behaviour of nerve cells. In any case, it's when phenomena are not well understood that people tend to invent explanations that may contradict science or even common sense.

    The immune system is probably involved - it is horrendously complicated and still not fully understood.
  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    try moisturizer. really glob it on once or twice. I get that sort of thing on my arms and neck area late winter, early spring. Not sure if its just dry skin that doesn't look all that dry but a few doses of xtra moisturizer work for me.

    edit add: oh and start using a wash cloth in the shower if you don't already. most men don't exfoliate ever so dead skin stacks up, which makes the moisturizer hard to get in there.
  10. Gib

    Gib New Member

    "dead skin stacks up" I think dead skin cells fall off. How do you think dead skin cells create itching?
    I've read that we have microscopic mites on our skin, living off our dead skin cells and (presumably) secretions. It has occurred to me that the random localised itch could be caused by mite activity, but I've never seen this idea written anywhere.
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

  12. tinkertailor

    tinkertailor Senior Member

    I have dry skin. If I don't exfoliate well in the shower with a good sugar scrub once a week, I get very itchy. I'm not sure of the exact mechanism and reason for the itching but I know it's a pretty well known phenomenon. It happens. Skin cells fall off with regular movement throughout the day in people with healthy skin, but if someone is sedentary or has dry skin they can hold on. Exfoliating is magic for skin moisture.
  13. dc_hatman

    dc_hatman Member

    If symptoms persist please consult a medical professional.
  14. GregMc

    GregMc Senior Member

    As a possibly relevant side note from personal experience, about a three years ago I had an unpleasant reaction after sanding some epoxy-glass composite from a mold during a hot Sydney summer that left some sanding dust on my exposed bare legs and as usual never completely washes off .
    It's common working with such horrible stuff to get home, have a shower and still go to bed feeling that prickly fibrous dust is still all over your legs stabbing its way deeper into your pores etc. Carbonfibre/epoxy is horrific.
    I suspect I developed a sensitivity to ground epoxy dust or perhaps the glass fibre also. Usually anyone sanding gets over the itchy sensation after a few days but this time after a day or two it was excruciating and relentless. I knew the cause and tried to resist scratching but the sensation just overcame all willpower.
    Despite no further exposure I clawed my lower legs below the knees to bleeding regularly... and that then continued for over a year .
    After a few months I managed to resist scratching my right leg but not my left leg.
    My doctor prescribed steroid cream and anaesthetic lotions.
    Only after about 14 months did willpower not to scratch and distracting myself allow it to fully heal.

    I observed the cause and the start date and so had no paranoia about mysterious causes but couldn't help wondering if I hadn't had a paper suit on that day rolled up at the knees how easy it would have been to get a similar reaction all over the body and how overwhelming that could feel..

    What if a faulty dust extractor filter could have easily blown the same itchy dust over an unwitting passerby. They could have been overcome by similar itchiness with absolutely no idea what triggered such a reaction.

    The strange thing is that after a few weeks I can't imagine there was any dust left on the skin but the sensation and desire to scratch remained, as if the act of scratching just repeats a vicious cycle.

    The sensation of itchy mite-like movement was not "imagined", any more than an amputated "phantom limb" excites sensation in the same part of the brain as a real intact limb.
    Once you get scratching it is temporarily relieved , but then returns as your own claw-marks heal into a scab and then invites the desire to tear it off again.
    Perhaps anti-psychotic medication might be effective in preventing an itchy wound feeling itchy.
    I had wondered if taking an antipsychotic could interrupt the feedback loop of the desire to scratch, more than applying lotions , as if like rote learning or practicing piano my neural pathways were reinforcing by repeated scratching. Eventually went away through an effort to distract from the sensation , jogging and swimming in a pool, using cold water etc

    I'm not suggesting morgellons is a result of people encountering specific dusts but it's not a stretch to imagine if i'd encountered the sensation over my entire body and hadn't experienced any obvious trigger it would be easy to search for answers on the net and find such fanciful explanations.

    Calling itchiness "delusional" when obviously the people DO feel itchy just as I did is probably not going to help sufferers come to terms with understanding a cause or treatment but it may be just a matter of improved bedside manner to suggest to patients that the itchiness is some sort of nerve sensation feedback loop and the medication will help break the cycle.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:55 AM
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Reminds me of a post I made 12 years ago:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Gib

    Gib New Member

    I agree with everything you wrote, Mick (as usual). I'm still interested in a rather different but presumably related question: what is the cause of those normal, non-pathological, fleeting itches that one gets? Sometimes you have an intense desire to scratch a particular spot, immediately relieved by scratching. I've never seen an explanation for this common phenomenon.

    (By the way, on the subject of Joni Mitchell, I just watched the Rolling Thunder Revue movie on Netflix, and one of the highlights is Joni in a room singing Coyote, accompanied by Bob Dylan and Roger McGuinn.)
  17. tinkertailor

    tinkertailor Senior Member

    Years ago, my family was plagued by an infestation of tiny mites the size of a period at the end of a 10-point font sentence. They bit me to the point of tears, I slept on the living room couch for a month, and I became horribly aware of my skin. Anything stretchy, mildly scratchy, or that might pull even slightly on my skin would send me in to fits of itching, convinced one of the little buggers was on me. I caught a sample, gave it to a small family-run pest control company and was told that they were vegetarian bugs that ate leaves and could not possibly be biting me, even though I had used myself as bait to catch the ten bugs I found with Scotch tape. After a series of late nights spent googling, high magnification and a lot of weird bug sprays, I determined they were rodent mites. I had the basement trapped, slept in two layers of skin tight clothing on hot nights, coated myself in essential oil-based repellent and caulked my bedroom and miraculously didn't get bit after a time. It's been years since I've had that problem (thanks, neighbor's cat who tried to have babies in our basement last summer) but I still compulsivly check any little itch I have to make sure it isn't a bug.
    All this being said, I know people who believe they are suffering from morgellons, and I could really use some more understanding and compassion in how I talk about it in their presence. As usual, Mick hits the nail on the head and reminds us all in the rational community that a little understanding goes a long way.
  18. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I'm confused why you've never seen an explanation. There are hundreds of medical articles online about the many causes of itches.
  19. Gib

    Gib New Member

    I've seen info about itches related to medical conditions, but not about the random, occasional, "one-off" itch that occurs just for seconds and is easily dealt with. This kind of itch has no medical significance.

    Shouldn't you provide references?
  20. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Seems like it would just be a minor manifestation of bigger itches. So you could pick any of those (contact dermatitis, folliculitis, dry skin, sweaty skin, minor abrasions, meth itch, etc) and just dilute it down so it just made an itch in one spot, and then went away.
  22. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member


    here you go. I typed in "why do we itch" and the first article says

    is this what you mean by "why?"
  23. Gib

    Gib New Member

    "When stimulated superficially on the skin"
    This is the crux of my question - what is the superficial stimulation? I've hypothesised mites, but have since learned that they mainly live on the face, and that is not where the itches I'm talking about typically occur.

    I need to emphasise that I'm not talking about the itch associated with a medical condition like pruritus. All the online info I've seen refers to such a medical condition.

    For example, I see this:

    "Common causes of this symptom
    Itching can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease. Examples include hair regrowth, sunburns, insect bites, dry skin or healing wounds."

    I'm wondering about itches without an obvious cause. Maybe it's just like noise in an electrical system.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019 at 6:04 PM
  24. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    pruritus is not a medical condition. its just fancy doctor talk for "itching". They have to give them fancy names or they cant charge you as much.

    dry skin.
    allergy or sensitivity to laundry detergent, shampoo, the fabric your towel is made of or your shirt.
    a hair falling off your head and landing on you.
    a gnat.
    a pet hair
    a cloth fiber sticking up a weird way
    a breeze or movement that jars a flake of dry skin that then lands somewhere else.
    reading a MB thread about itching.
    body lice.
    a piece of spice from the Doritos you were eating.

    the list can go on and on.
  25. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    On a related note, I'm feeling itchy just reading this thread
  26. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    At the risk of straying off topic, I used to scrub with a wash cloth (or flannel as we call them over here), but then I read something (probably on the internet :rolleyes:) about how doing so was terrible and removed the protective oils of the skin and produced microabrasions and let horrible flannel bacteria in and so on and so on.

    Oh and also I remember when I was a teenager and tried to "exfoliate" my nose so I wouldn't get spots before some important social event or other, and ended up overdoing it and taking a layer of skin off, so I had a nice scabbed nose instead. I bet there would have been some interesting fibres in there.
  27. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    :0 guess I should have said a clean washcloth. and dont use it to clean out your nose first. and don't rub yourself raw :)

    but yea cheap soap is notorious for drying out the skin. that's why youre supposed to moisturize after every shower.
    A dermatologist once told me that people should really only shower (luke warm water) every three days or so unless you are literally working in the dirt and are dirty.. because of the oils.