All right gut check project fans, it is now time for a very special episode. I’m joined here with my co host, Dr. Kenneth Brown. And we’re here on episode number 43 with the 2020, libertarian vice presidential candidate Jeremy Spike Cohen spike, thank you so much for joining us here today here in conroe, Texas.
Absolutely beautiful. conroe, Texas, Eric. Ken, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
It’s an honor to have you This is so exciting.
Absolutely. And sorry, for the brevity, we’re going to have to move kind of quick because a lot of people want to talk to spike. So we’re gonna get straight to it. Okay, if you were elected, and you have the opportunity to change the way that we handled lobbyists, specifically the corn lobby, the corn farmers Association battles to make certain that we keep high fructose corn syrup in all of our foods, we know that it can lead to disease. What is your position on how to handle things like that?
Well, the short answer is the government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the market, it leads to this very type of thing we need to look at corn is a perfect example high fructose corn syrup. And the corn lobby in general is a perfect example of cronyism leading to actual death and harm as a direct result. So why is corn so heavily used in our foods? Why is high fructose corn syrup so heavily used in American foods and not really heavily used in other countries foods? It’s because in the 1970s, the Nixon administration was approached by the corn lobby, which is a very powerful lobby, because they’re based in Iowa, which is the first state that has primaries, in every election cycle, they were approached with an idea of stabilizing and lowering the cost of food in this country and the fluctuations in the change of the price of food in this country. By heavily subsidizing corn products. Corn is a hearty crop, it grows year round, it is a great way to provide an ever steady supply of food. Well, here’s the problem. High fructose, high fructose corn syrup, is a great way to lead to larger rates of obesity, and diabetes and other issues because it is not processed the same way as other sugars. It is a very, very concentrated form of fructose, it can potentially lead to autoimmune issues, I have multiple sclerosis, I have not been eating corn or corn products for quite some time. And that’s a big part of it. Anything that is high in carbs like that. And in general, this is another perfect example of what happens when government has the power to choose a winner and to choose a loser instead of the market. And which in this case would be consumers of food and health consumers deciding what is safest and healthiest for them and creating demand for that thing, which would mean an increased supply of it. Instead, the government goes in and says, No, everyone’s eating corn, we’re gonna lower the price drastically, it leads to those who have the least those who are the lowest income having to eat more of that because it’s what they can afford. And it leads to what we have right now, the poorer you are, the more likely you are to be obese, the more likely you are to have diabetes, the more likely you are to have autoimmune issues, the more likely you are to deal with depression, the more likely you are to deal with a host of health issues that are directly related to the diet, and that the harm the poison that it’s caused.
That is exactly what we just talked about. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if on a more local level, we could subsidize fruits and vegetables? Get those farmers doing that?
And while that sounds good, here’s the problem with that you’re now picking another winner right? True. And so while that may be better than corn, without fail, you know, here’s the thing. Fruit also was high in sugar. So I could very well conceive you know, a situation where now we’re eating Apple syrup, or some other type of high fructose syrup that’s coming from another fruit as a direct result of what was originally a well intentioned idea. This thing with the corn lobby, the I fully believe that the politicians who signed off on this Yes, they were getting their their you know, campaign coffer kickbacks from the corn lobby, they also probably thought it was a good idea. They’re probably also thought that it was a good idea to be able to stabilize the food, in food pricing in the food industry in this country, it’s led to massive harm. We don’t know how many hundreds of thousands, millions, possibly 10s of millions of lives have been prematurely ended. And and and and the quality of life been reduced as a direct result of just another bad crony policy, what we believe is free markets, we believe that when people are empowered to be able to make their choices based on their best informed consent of what is the best way for them to eat, we’re instead of trying to artificially lower the price of this and artificially increase the price of this. You let people make their choices with their themselves, their families, their health providers, what works best for them, and allow the market to dictate pricing and the market to dictate supply and demand, then you end up with a much more equitable, fair and healthy situation.
So while we’re talking about lobbies, we can’t ignore the fact that when we’re looking at the corn refiners Association, and of course you have the sugar Producers Association, which includes RJ Newman, Archer, Daniels, Midland, Cargill, etc. They obviously have a big push to do sweeteners and then sometimes they work together and sometimes they battle for their own piece of the pie of this of these crony dollars. So with all of that said, so we know that there’s this lobby for sugar, but we can’t ignore the fact that there’s Monsanto and Bayer so they have a lobby also, in essence, what is it that a liberal herion platform or a different platform, our ideal platform for that matter would look like handling lobbyists that essentially make us dependent upon things that are inherently bad for the core
issue here is that you have lobbyists and cronies stepping up to the federal trough to write themselves blank checks of your money that is stolen from you. The answer is to look at the root problem was the existence of that trough to begin with, get rid of the trough, give you your money back stop the cronyism at its core. And the demand for this these crony favors goes away. If the government can’t give away crony favors, if they can’t pick winners and losers, not just in the health care market. In the energy market, the corn industry is pushing for more and more higher levels of percentages of ethanol in your gasoline. And we now know not only is that know better for the environment, it’s actually worse for the environment. It also was corrosive to car parts, which means it makes your car die faster. It makes your car require maintenance faster, turns out to corrode your insides too, right. So here’s the situation that we have. This entirely exists because of the lobby system that is built around cronyism around the government’s ability to hand out favors in the form of regulation subsidization taxes, mandates, and other red tape and bureaucracy and lobby favors that they create for their favorite cronies that by and pay for them to be in office, the libertarian platform across the board, whether we’re talking about health, whether we’re talking about education, whether we’re talking about energy or anything in between, we are talking about completely dismantling the system and putting the power and the money and the freedom that was stolen from you back in your hands so you can make better choices, better energy choices, better health choices, better nutrition choices that are clearly have been made on your behalf by craven pandering politicians who often have no idea what the hell they’re even talking about. And cronies who have a vested interest in pushing their own supply, even if it hurts you.
So that’s that right there, in its essence, is how the lobby is affecting the way that legislation is handled, because there’s no limit to terms of people who’ve been there for a very, very long time. Yep. But there’s an institution inside being the FDA, which my my partner here has had to deal with specifically on a product that he created. Can you want to talk a little bit about how that’s affected us with the FDA? Of course,
well, so being a doctor, I’ve got so many patients that can’t afford their medications. I mean, there’s medications that have been around for 50 years, and suddenly, it’s 1500. dollars
for patent protection,
patent protection. So can you comment on that, because I think that is something that is directly affecting me as a physician, and my patients, that’s my pain point. I’ve heard you say all the time, I’m going to meet you at your pain point, or I’m going to meet you where you’re at. Yep, yep, this is where I’m at, I need to figure out how to get drugs to my patients.
So here’s the thing that would when it comes to patent protections, I have been across what 30, almost 35 states now on this campaign, at almost every single stop, I talked to at least one person who tells me that they cannot afford epinephrine, or insulin. These are drugs that have been around for decades, insulin has been around for over 100 years, because of the weaponization of patent laws in this country. You have large crony big pharma companies that make negligible nothing changes to their formula, and then repatented and re, get it recreate a new patent for that, then they have new regulations passed at the government and insurance level that makes it that that new version is the only one that anyone will cover, right. So here’s what happens. Because the price equilibrium, equilibrium has been removed from healthcare. And because they’ve cut out all of their competition, because they’re the only ones that can can make it thanks to the patent protection, they can charge whatever they want. Because you’re not directly paying for the app, their consumers are not the people that are actually or they’re the people paying for it or not the consumers, nine times out of 10, who’s paying for it is Medicare, Medicaid, the VA or government mandated insurance, which means they can charge whatever the hell they want. Because they’ve cut out their competition, and the third party payers have to pay whatever
guaranteed to get paid,
They’re guaranteed to get paid. And if you’re one of those poor, unfortunate souls who doesn’t have health care, that doesn’t have health insurance coverage, or doesn’t have Medicare or Medicaid. You just have to die. And this is life saving drugs that on other countries cost pennies, which is why it’s illegal for you to go to other countries and get it it’s the same damn drug. It’s the same damn prescription. Why on earth would you not be allowed to import it from somewhere else? Because it would make the cronies not get as rich as they are? All of these regulations need to go. All of these laws were created for two reasons to make your life harder, and to make you suffer and to make billionaires even richer and they all need to go away.
What is horrible about this is because it is a person over a barrel, they have no choice. If you have MS and you have a drug that can get you out of a wheelchair and walk. Yeah, but it costs $10,000 do you
want eat $20,000 every six to eight weeks?
Yeah, this is insane. And so what Eric was getting at is that I personally look at functional ways to treat this and there’s many natural ways to do this. But we could never compete on a research level on to go to the FDA because it’ll cost $20 million to do it,
which is the which is the purpose. The FDA was originally created to stop the snake oil salesmen, the people that were going around literally Selling snake oil and saying that it would cure everything? Well, it turns out that one thing that isn’t talked about a lot is when the FDA was created, they kept selling snake oil, they just had to add something saying that the FDA didn’t approve it for that. That’s the thing that isn’t talked about a lot. Here’s what it also did. It created a cottage industry where if you want to create a drug or a treatment in this country, it better damn well be a pharma based drug. And you better have some good connections in the in government to be able to get the taxpayer subsidized 10s of millions of dollars in research and development and testing costs. All of this is built around again two things, making your life harder and greatly benefiting Big Pharma, Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID. And within a week, he was out and being told that, that he was doing great and wasn’t even contagious anymore. And this is from Walter Reed, he got at least three different treatments that are not approved by the FDA that if you tried to go and get them, unless you were able to pay big money out of pocket for it, you’re not going to get that care. And yet he was able to get it. We believe in not just right to try laws, but completely dismantling the whole idea of scheduling the entire idea of the government deciding whether something is or is not safe. That has been a failed model that has made made consumers less able to get the treatments they need that has suppressed treatments. And I want to say, I know I’ve never heard of this treatment. I am not endorsing it. I don’t know if it works or not. Yeah, I just want to be clear on that. But I have a feeling that there are many products like this that work a lot better than the stuff Big Pharma is selling you and the insurance companies would love to cover it. But they’re not allowed to it costs less, it works better. It has a better safety profile. But they’re not allowed to thanks to the FDA and the and basically the HHS, Health and Human Services and the entire system of cronyism, they’ve created
a question I don’t want to ask you. I’ve been out here talking to these all these people who have shown up to absolutely support you. I am shocked at how many veterans are out there. Yes, I’ve met so many. Can you just comment on my aspect of it, which is the Veterans Administration in health care
if you are a veteran in this country, and you’ve sworn to protect the Constitution and the American people against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And then you were sent overseas by those domestic enemies to fight and kill and potentially die on behalf of military contractors and foreign dictators, and, and central bankers. That’s a whole other subject. But now you’ve fought in those wars, you come home, you’re often dealing with PTSD, you’re dealing with traumatic brain injuries, you’re dealing with chronic health issues, often chronic health issues that takes several years to manifest, because you were a kid when you were out there. And it takes a while for it to manifest itself. And now you’re dealing with these issues, you were promised health care, you go to the VA, and they tell you, you better spend the next several years, possibly couple decades proving your percentage of disability, before they give you even the first visit to the doctor or the first course of treatment that you need that you earned. And if you do qualify for it, you have to wait months, sometimes years to be able to get it. And you have to go to one of a handful of locations across the country. Sometimes I’ve heard people that have had to travel five and six hours just to see a VA approved doctor, it turns out government run health care sucks. So what we have found is that it would actually be more affordable to scrap the entire thing and give you give veterans the money to be able to get your own health care to be able to get your own whether it’s through a health insurance, health sharing an HSA or some combination of those things, have your money that you earned, to be able to go get the care that you need, you’re no longer spending years to prove your percentage of disability before you can actually get any treatment. No longer having it ration how how often you can get it and where you can go to get it you can get it anywhere anyone else as health insurance or an HSA can get it, you get the care that you need. And it turns out that actually saves taxpayers including veterans, who are also taxpayers billions of dollars a year. That is our plan for so
say that one more time. So this will not cost our veterans more and it will actually save taxpayers more
veterans won’t be paying a penny out of pocket and it will save taxpayers billions of dollars a year. It turns out that government sucks at everything it tries to run, including health care.
Ironically, it wasn’t that long ago, about three years ago that we started seeing overflow from the VA for them to be seen in our private practice clinic because they simply could not justify the waitlist that they place is, as you put it, the veterans who’ve already volunteered their lives for us to finally get care. Yep. And they had been waiting well over 18 months for things that otherwise would have been emergent at least urgent. Yep.
Yep. Which, which is why VA hospitals are so over utilized. They often can’t get care until it’s at a crisis situation. And they end up in a hospital where they wait hours, sometimes days to get treatment. Oh, yeah. And sometimes they’re handed like NSH. I’ve heard some of the most nightmarish stories of people that clearly were dealing with health emergencies and were given like, Advil, they were given nonsense and told to go home. They were told, oh, you know, this sounds like this is a big one, a psycho Soma, that it’s psychosomatic, it’s in your head, it’s you’re just you’re just stressed out. That’s what the problem is Go home and rest it. You’re telling people to walk it off people that are coming in With obvious issues, some of those people ended up dying days later, because they had an actual problem. And the doctors just didn’t have the wherewithal to be able to actually provide them treatment because of the bureau bureau bureaucratic state they put in place, and many of them end up committing suicide, we lose 23 veterans a day to suicide in this country, it is several times higher than the national average for non veterans. It is an absolute travesty, these are people who signed up to protect us and our constitution from anyone who would harm it. And the government that they signed up to work on behalf of who promised in the care that they need promised you the care that you need, lied to you, and instead is rationing it. And it costs more to ration it than to just give you the damn money that you earned. That’s what Joe and I propose, give you the money that you’ve earned scrap the VA and let you get the care that you deserve the minute you need it.
It’s interesting that you talk about it from the VA, because it seems like they don’t stop screwing you at that at that intersection. And I would imagine that an administration that was run by Joe and spike, obviously would want to get in and then obviously reform to to dismantle is certainly the VA as it exists. Now. That being said, that also leaves a big eyesore with the CDC.
back when COVID the pandemic began.
Have you heard of COVID? By the way,
I have heard it briefly. I was I was I was updated on it when I was walking.
Ken and I, I obviously were out of work on the on the private practice side on how we would see people for elective procedures. So we had almost a full eight weeks where we didn’t see one. But we we were intercepted with an opportunity to begin early testing. And we had all of this opportunity. And we had friends of ours who had been working and had been found tests that were used all over the EU, in South Korea, etc. And then for some reason, they could not get what is called the EUA and emergency use authorization for us to use it otherwise, we would have risked our license to have administered it to our own patients. What can be done about that
for two months, for eight weeks that the virus was here, the government, the CDC and the FDA did not allow doctors and nurses and medical professionals to test covid patients, what is it we hear every single day that the most important way to slow the spread of this or any other virus that typically can spread asymptomatically, which means the majority of people will have it don’t even know it, it is crucial that test test test test test test everyone, test everyone as often as possible, don’t just test them once, test them as often as possible set the moment someone has it, you’re able to contain them, you’re able to do contact tracing, you’re able to be able to try to slow the spread potentially even contain this thing. And for two months, the federal government forced the entire healthcare sector to sit on their hands, while sick people came into their offices and said, Doc, I’m scared I have COVID. And they would say we can’t test you the few results that we knew back in January and February, positive results that were in this country, they were tested illegally. These were people that engaged in civil disobedience, tested people illegally and released the results. Otherwise, we would have been under the false assurance that no one had it here. That is what has happened with government and control of your health care. And of course, we didn’t need a pandemic to tell us that government sucks at running health care, you can ask any veteran or poor person what their health care is like. But here’s the situation that we have. We have a government that even today has not approved the majority of test kits that are out there. These are test kits that are being made in the United States of America, they are approved for use in almost every other country on Earth, and they have to sell them overseas, it would be illegal for them to sell them here. It would be illegal for you or your medical professionals to be able to buy those tests or to use them or to make their own tests. It is absurd. And that’s before we get into certificate of need laws, patent protections, all of the bureaucracy and red tape that makes it increasingly difficult for medical professionals to save lives. Government doesn’t save anyone’s life. Government does not protect anyone government makes it harder for those whose job it is to protect people to do that job. And I will completely dismantle the system and put the power back in the hands of the health care sector to save lives.
One of the interesting things is that all the research that was coming out on we did multiple shows where we were looking at different different things. It all came from other countries. We couldn’t do any of the research here because it was illegal because it’s illegal it
was illegal to do here’s what we told you, we have to find out as much as we can. We’re working with incomplete data. And it’s crucial that we test anyone and if any of you do it, you’ll you’ll lose your license. And if you keep it going, it will throw you in jail. This is what the government told us No wonder the richest and most prosperous country on Earth has the worst manifestation of this outbreak of any developed country. They literally forced the entire sector to sit on their hands. We already knew that this health care system sucked in the worst of times, and the best of times, it meant massive cost overruns. It meant you and your doctor not even knowing what the price of your services that they were that they were providing to you were for months or weeks or sometimes months. It led to us paying something like four or five times more than the average person does in the developed world. And in these types of times, it means hundreds of thousands of lives that could have been spared. And so what is their answer? Everyone stay indoors. Even though the reason that cold and flu season is the worst in the winter is because everyone’s indoors during that time. And if you don’t stay indoors, then for your safety will throw you in jail, where you are almost assured to get COVID-19 for your safety
as an ancillary ancillary topic here, because it affects the way that we’re able to research and find out new developments for people, both in the medical sector and as well as what I would consider unnecessary incarceration, the drug war, what do what do spike and Joe want to do in regards to the drug war? And I asked this question, because we talk about the dangers of illicit drugs, right. So when we look at models that have moved to complete decriminalization, there’s over 25 countries that have done so most notably in 2001. Being Portugal who has moved in that direction, they’ve actually seen a decrease in drug related and certainly drug cause death, has seen a decrease in long term drug use and active use. What is it that a Joe and spike platform or administration would do to help in the drug war
to schedule all of the drugs at the FDA level and end the drug war free people from the cages for engaging in victimless and voluntary commerce, expunge their criminal record so they can go back and rebuild their lives, we have seen what prohibition does like Like you said, we’ve seen what the decriminalization and legalization model has done, addictions go down because people are able to get help without fear of going to jail, criminal elements lose their source of income, so the streets get safer and governments become less corrupt because they’re not getting bribed by criminal cartels anymore. Every single metric that is used to determine whether or not this is working, every single one improves, we’ve seen what the prohibition model leads to. We saw it with the prohibition of alcohol and we’re seeing it with the war on drugs. Now, addicts, there are more addictions and more overdoses and more deaths, because addicts are not able to legally get help without risking going to jail. Criminal cartels are handed multibillion dollar industries that they have the market cornered on, which allows them to become incredibly powerful, and engage in gang warfare to fight over their turf and pay off corrupt police and government officials and put their favorite government officials in place to allow the flow of their drugs to continue, which leads to massive increases in corruption. It leads to an increase in distrust between the police and the government and the community that they’re supposed to serve. Every single thing gets worse, we are less safe, we are more prone to addiction, we are more prone to abuse, we’re more prone to other social and economic ills that come as a result of that everything gets worse, the government should have no business telling you what you should or should not be putting in your body, the war on drugs needs, it needs to end it has criminalized entire communities, the entire thing has been an absolute failure, unless you’re a military, military weapons contractor, or you are a prison contractor or you are in a corrections union, or you are a contractor for police services, or you’re a pandering politician who wants more control over people’s lives. If you’re not any of those things, this has made your life worse. We end the war on drugs.
It makes sense. I mean, it really does. I mean, the model, and this is not this is not a political endorsement. This is a model that’s been in action for over 19 years.
And we’ve seen not only the decrease in death, and addiction, but they actually spend one third the money that they used to spend on incarcerating and prosecuting those same people. And now they have rehab models, where
you save a fortune you save to have government run rehab. Now Meanwhile, we think that’s best handled by you know, charity, and mutual aid and churches and things like that. But you could have a government run rehab center, universal rehab for anyone who wants it, it would cost pennies on the dollar, what it costs to lock people up. That doesn’t include the opportunity cost loss of people who could have otherwise had a productive life if they had been able to get the care they wanted and then be a productive member of society. Instead they have recidivism, they’re stuck in jail when they come out. They’re criminalized. They don’t know how to how to live outside of jail, they end up having to live on social services. Because they are unemployable thanks to their criminal record or unemployable in any real way. They can work some bit job for nothing. They end up becoming a wage slave and making next to nothing and still being on social services. It costs hundreds of billions of dollars a year to keep this thing going. It’s time for a day.
Not to mention it also stymies research in those drugs. They determine our schedule one No, we can’t do anything with them. cannabis
is I have talked to so many people who in hushed tones because in their state, it’s still illegal. Tell me I was on opioids and thanks to cannabis, I was not only able to get off of those opioids, but it is effectively treating my chronic pain. It is effectively treating my PTSD. A lot of veterans who are dealing with this, a lot of other people who have trauma like all of this stuff ends when we end the drug war allow people that do what they will making informed conscientious choices for themselves with the help of their medical professionals.
Right now. Johns Hopkins is doing all these studies on MDMA, they’re looking at psilocybin and the only reason why it’s there is because private funding is supporting that they’re supporting their whole program. Right. And they, they had to do such an uphill battle to go to the FDA to get this approved. But because it’s Johns Hopkins, because it’s powerfully backed, that’s going to be a future like why is that considered a drug when, I mean, I’m totally with you.
And when that happens, they’ll go through the FDA process. And now LSD and psilocybin will cost 10s of thousands of dollars, but
that’s a lossy, they’ll do
they’ll synthesize it so that they can
make an accident, they will not perform nearly as well as it would have in its natural form. But
it but it’s patentable.
That’s right. That’s, unfortunately, I think that people are waving us and saying,
wait, I just have one thing I’m, I’ve listened to you, I’m watching you. And on on the drive down, we came down from Dallas here, there is a poem called the Second Coming from Yeats and 1920. Anyways, it’s, it’s relevant now. You have to look at it. But part of the poem says, the best lack conviction, the worst are fueled with passionate intensity. It’s a poem about how society implodes. And I think it became very popular because the worst are filled with passionate intensity, meaning that the people that we have a choice, the duopoly that we can choose from right here, yep, I’m looking at you. And I’m like, I’m glad to see you having both conviction, and also passion. There seem to be a candidate that is that has both been passionate about what’s going on here and still having logic and conviction.
I can’t not be passionate after talking to everyday people across this country and hearing their stories, how their lives have been ruined, or conversely, hearing stories of how simply being allowed to live their lives have greatly greatly improved things, people that move to a state that just allowed recreational or medicinal use of cannabis either, and they were able to stop having seizures, they’d have their whole lives, get off of drugs that have you know, had terrible safety profiles, all of these things that I’ve heard people being able to get care that they need when the government just lets them go and seek it. people being able to actually do what they need to do and save lives when the government just simply allows them to do it even temporarily. And then conversely, seeing how people’s lives are ruined when government doesn’t let them do it. Let’s be very clear on something when government is telling you whether or not you can do something this is not your betters. This is politicians who often haven’t worked a real job in their entire lives, much less run anything whose job it is to pander, receive money from cronies and then try to convince you that it’s a good idea. They are good at pandering in line. You are being told by cronies who have a vested interest in their profit. You are being told by bureaucrats who just keep growing this bureaucratic state your betters, are you and people who have a vested interest in your health, your medical professionals, your family, your loved ones, people that care about you, that is who along with you making your conscientious choices should be able to decide how to live your life, not just in health, in business, in every single aspect and safety in your education in every single thing. You should be empowered with the power and freedom and money that was stolen from you. You are the power and you can fix this. And we will fix this together when we dismantle this disgusting, thieving, murderous system and put the power back in your hands where it always belongs.
conviction. That was awesome. That was awesome.
This is Episode 43 of the Gut Check Project and incredible episode This here is a an incredible guest. Mr. Spike Cohen, Vice President can’t You can’t say I’m sorry, vice presidential candidate 2020. Stay tuned. Thank y’all so much. I appreciate it.
Thank you Episode 43
thank you so much, brother.
Thank you, man. I appreciate it. Thank you