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PoliticsI am the Libertarian Party Candidate for US Senate in NY, Alex Merced, running against Chuck Schumer. Ask me Anything!

Sep 26th 2016 by thealexmerced • 23 Questions • 495 Points

There is a medical condition fairly common among men called gynecomastia. Due to different reasons, such as hormonal changes, excess body fat and increased estrogen levels, the same kind of breast tissue women have starts to grow in men. It can cause a man to appear to have small breasts or what some jokingly call “man-boobs”. In many cases exercise isn’t enough to get rid of it. There’s a lot to the subject and we work to help men address the condition with surgery. We are Dr. Heather Richardson and Dr. Kelly Killeen.

Dr. Heather Richardson Bio & Dr. Kelly Killeen Bio - Proof

Q:

what do you as a libertarian have to offer that schumer doesnt ?

A:

How often does a man come in and you think...That man does not have boobs that need fixing?


Q:

As libertarian I have completely different view on foreign policy and the drug war than the democrats and republicans. FP/DW are the issues in my opinion take the most lives everyday and Libertarians are the biggest party speaking out against regime change and the drug war which Chuck Schumer has supported and funded.

As a elected rep I also want to change what people expect from their elected representatives by using social media to be very accessible to my constituents with weekly livestream about my votes and more.

Chuck Schumer only seems to care about what will keep him in the headlines.

A:

It's all what the GUY thinks. Not what we think. But we do have to manage expectations. A 350lb 5'3" guy isn't going to walk out looking like he was in the cast of 300 no matter what we do.


Q:

This brings up an interesting point for me as a fresh first generation American (18). Could you elaborate more on these livestreams? What will make you different?

On another note, what are your future aspirations. What do you want to come out of this election if, say, you are elected? What happens afterwards?

A:

I'm sure as a medical professional cutting into a perfectly healthy body for no reason other then 'the patient wants me to' isn't something to take lightly.

Where is the line where you deny the procedure?


Q:

I'm first generation american as well, my mom is from guatemala and dad from Puerto rico.

The livestreams are about transparency and access. People barely get to talk to their elected representatives. If I do live streams and allow people to ask questions and tell me what they think other states will begin expecting the same from their senators.

I just want to keep fighting for liberty, whether I run for another office or pursue it some other way I'll continue to be aggressively involved in the Libertarian Party and promoting Libertarian values.

Although if I don't win the first thing I"m going to do is visit my mom and spend some quality time with my wife who both I havn't been able to see much these last few months.

A:

If you are coming from the place of "I can make that better" and the risk is low (remember, removing some fat and unwanted glandular tissue from their chest has almost no risk), then aside from their health being so precarious that the anesthesia risk alone is too high, there is pretty much no reason to deny someone this improvement if that is what they want. I would deny this to someone who thought that if they improved their chest's appearance that they could quit their job, leave their wife and kids, and make it as as a singer on the TODAY show backed by a band of girls dressed as angels. Because obviously, that's completely delusional and their expectations for the change in their appearance are not going to be met. It's the WHY they want it done that's the issue, not the danger in the procedure that would make me take pause.


Q:

As a NYer on Long Island who hates Schumer why should I vote for you over the Republican candidate?

A:

Wait a minute... did Corey Feldman come to you looking for a boob job?


Q:

Wendy Long isn't campaigning, I was in syracuse for the state fair, she wasn't. I was at Binghamton for Spiedie Fest, She wasnt. etc.

She lost by the largest margin in NY history in 2012 against Gillibrand and her campaign has raised less money than it did then and has had less support.

While I'm not a cash rich candidate, I have been very efficient with the funds we have received to be traveling the state meeting actual people, having an actual social media strategy, and putting out original policy ideas in line with my values.

Wendy has done none of this, and for those who are #nevertrump Wendy has pretty much just been an echo chamber for Trump resting her hopes on Trump instead of running her own campaign.

A:

No, but even if he did, I'd still say have to say no. HIPPA.


Q:

Okay. With that you just got my vote.

A:

Can smoking pot lead to gynecomastia?


Q:

Thanks :)

A:

There have been several animal studies that have shown this to be the case, but there have been several studies in humans showed it did not appear to be the case. It may be a bit of chicken and egg thing... Some pot smokers are more sedentary than others and this may be more of the issue than the pot itself.


Q:

What qualifications do you possess to serve in our nation's highest legislative body?

Have you ever held a position of public service or run for office before?

Do you expect your leaders to have deep resumes and broad public service experience, or is "blogger" an acceptable qualification to be a US Senator?

What is the highest level of education you have completed, and how did you utilize that education?

A:

Have you ever had patients have their man boobs reemerge after surgery or is this generally a one and done procedure?


Q:

I also ran for NYC public advocate in 2013 as the LP candidate

A:

Usually one and done.


Q:

You're right! I am bad at reading. D'oh.

A:

Which cases are totally covered?


Q:

I have a BA from Bowling Green State University

A:

If there is nodularity or solid glandular tissue that could be classified as a mass, or an obvious mass present, then all or nearly all of the surgery should be justifiable as investigative and is basically a great big biopsy. If it's "purely cosmetic" (I.e. Just liposuction removing fat) then it's not going to get covered. Go to a breast surgeon who won't raise as many red flags from an insurer. A plastic surgeon can try to get coverage too, but sometimes insurers don't allow them to biopsy for disease as easily. Tissue should be sent to pathology as well.


Q:

How do you feel about the DEA's choice to ban Kratom?

A:

What's the biggest boobs a guy has had that you have seen?


Q:

Against It, anti-drug war

A:

A large C cup. I was suitably impressed.


Q:

Why has the Libertarian Party done nothing to end subsidies for Big Oil, other than talk about it?

A:

Those feelings go away, you would never be able to eat as a surgeon if you required downtime after the OR. I could probably eat during the operation if it was acceptable. Not the patient of course.


Q:

We are outspoken against all energy subsidies I often speak out against liability caps for oil companies. Libertarians currently hold no power so all w can do is spam out against these things.

A:

I had a hard time in anatomy class in Med school, but others didn't. I had a professor who was trained in a foreign country say they were forbidden to wear gloves during their dissections because it was an "insult to the person who donated their body". Don't think I could have done that. Sometimes you get a whiff of something all too familiar. It serves as a reminder that we are all animals and that makes me happy to stick to a plant based diet as much as possible


Q:

what's an Aleppo?

A:

Is there a large proportion of your clients getting surgery to sort out the gynecomastia due to taking anabolic steroids? I ask because it seems there are quite a large number of bodybuilders that aren't quite sure what to do in regards to their PCT, and often end up with pretty noticeable gyno by the end of it.


Q:

Aleppo is a city in Syria about the size of San Diego. Although re: how do you fix the Aleppo situation. There is no easy answers because if you take out Assad it can result in a powerful Isis but if you restore Assads power then people will hate the US for propping dictator. Like most regimes that need to be changed, it needs to done from within without US intervention.

When the US intervenes such as it has in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, etc. the result it only more instability.

A:

Good question! I have absolutely dealt with this. For those guys absolutely set on continued steroid use (which we don't recommend), we can pretty easily rid them of this tissue with an out patient procedure. The results depend on the end goals- looks versus symptoms such as lumps or pain.


Q:

Who are some of your favorite libertarian philosophers/economists, and who are some of your favorite people to work with in the current party/on your campaign?

A:

Have you ever had a client who had a pair which you'd consider to be a nice pair on a woman?


Q:

I was "awoken" by Ron Paul in 2007 so of course by Ideological journey included a heavy dose of Ludwig Von Mises/F.A. Hayek/Murray Rothbard guided by the Amazing Thomas Woods and Robert Murphy. This is probably why I'm quite economics oriented.

I love everyone in the party which is why I have become quite loyal to the Libertarian party because the people are meet are in the LP as a career or for power but soley because they genuinely care about individual rights and liberty.

Most of my experience is with the NYLP who have become my extended family including people who should be household names like Larry Sharpe, Brian Waddell and Aaron Commey. The Upstate chapters have been some the most active and awesome people I have ever met. (Rachael, Charles, Sean, Jim, Mark, Jarrod, John, etc.)

I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Steve Scheetz from PA and Patrick McKnight from NJ who are also very Awesome.

A:

Not to put too fine a point on it, I know women who've paid to have what some men would pay to get rid of.


Q:

You should go on part of the problem, it's a libertarian podcast based out of nyc. Also, the jason stapleton program is pretty good too.

A:

I saw a dude with a perfect rack, it was weird. Not arousing at all though. (And he was straight, just overweight)


Q:

I'll check out part of the problem love the JSP but he doesn't really do interviews met Jason at the LNC

A:

I wonder what he thought about it...


Q:

Are you supporting gary johnson this election?

A:

Well we have all seen plastic surgery horror stories like M.J (rip) or that human barbie that removed her ribs, the japanese superman guy with metal plates and it seems unethical to me that a plastic surgeon would agree to such procedures knowing how harmful it is.


Q:

Yes I am, He is a good guy, great experience and record, also he's by far more Libertarian than any other option.

A:

I wouldn't offer those extreme procedures to patients. But what about piercers or tattoo artists that put permanent crazy and maybe even questionable things on people's bodies? At some point, adults that want to do stupid and/or risky things to them selves (no matter what it is... Skydiving/unprotected sex/wearing crocs) are free to do so and sometimes need to be left alone to learn from their mistakes. I've had colleagues argue that if they don't do what the patient wants, the patient will just find someone else who will. So at least if THEY are the ones to do it, the patient may have a better chance of having a safer outcome than if he or she went to an unreputable doctor. I think the bigger issue is listening to the patient to find out the "WHYs" of their choices and making sure they truly understand the risks and benefits. I have been able to talk sense into a few people in the past.


Q:

Are you supporting gary johnson this election?

A:

What's the common age for us males to acquire these "man-boobs" (I prefer the term "moobs", personally)? I'm 35 ... am I out of the woods - or "over the hills" - yet?


Q:

Some of our best Senators like Rand Paul didn't have a resume of public service, and honest those with records of public service are people who've already been corrupted for it.

I don't have the same experience sending people to fight and die abroad as Schumer

I don't have the same experience as wasting tax payer money to fight the war on drugs making things worse as Schumer

I do have experience running a small business as I started as hobby retail store chain when I was in college at the age of 20

I understand the financial system as I've spent the last eight years training people all over the financial industry getting to know its inner workings

I have lived in suburban, urban, and rural settings appreciating the different challenges of these settings.

I understand technology and the new economic opportunities because I have embraced blogging, podcasting and new media.

A lot of this everyday people experience is experience Chuck Schumer lacks as he immediately went to the State Assembly and never had to understand the real lives of real people

If you want a traditional political then vote for the same corrupt resumes, but I'm offering something different.

A:

70% of men over 50 have gynecomastia!! The other common times are neonatal and adolescent- because of the sudden hormonal changes. So if you are in the 35s, it would be a good idea to look at your medicine cabinet, how your relatives look (can be somewhat familial, like your hair texture or height) or any other contributing medical conditions


Q:

Yea or nay for legalization of marijuana for NY?

A:

I hear eating Tofu can lead to gynecomastia, right? How much tofu is too much tofu?


Q:

A Complete end to the drug war is what I support. I don't want to tax drugs, I just want to end the black market and other unintended consequences of the drug war.

A:

Not usually... Phytoestrogens in tofu are pretty weak. I'd look to other sources unless you are chowing down metric tonnages.


Q:

Why wouldn't drugs be taxed?

A:

What about endocrine disruptors in plastics? Also, the antibacterial soaps, isn't this a potential side effect of those too?

Perhaps not tofu by itself, but maybe if you add up tofu, plastics, antibacterial agents, etc. etc. Basically a range of environmental triggers could be causing the issue for some of your patients with no known trigger maybe?


Q:

It would already be subject to sales taxes, why should there be an extra tax.

A:

Absolutely! If you know how to rid the world of those things without the vast majority of people turning into giant whiny babies I would be all for it. We can do a randomized controlled study and find out. Those endocrine disrupters are in the slick printer papers that receipts are printed on, too.


Q:

The extra tax should fund drug addiction treatment, so there is a negative feedback between drug use and efforts to reduce it.

A:

How painful is recovery? Is there loss of sensation?


Q:

That should be up to local communities, I don't want the federal government taxing it and probably using the money to give senators another raise

A:

There is almost always temporary decreased sensation and we warn patients of the possibility of permanent numbness. There are also tingly and shooting sensations as he feeing comes back after surgery. I've been told it's less painful than expected almost all the time. Recovery can be a week or so vs soreness for about a month, depending on how much we are doing.


Q:

Even with hard drugs? Like wouldn't it make sense to make some distinction between drugs that do a lot of damage, and soft ones like THC?

A:

How often to you find that "man boobs" contain cancerous tissue? I've heard that uneven male breasts can be due to malignancy. Do you regularly send out the excised tissues to pathology?


Q:

No, because prohibition has a lot of other negative effects which I discuss in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG14ye8hNjs

A:

We do send tissue samples of the gland part for pathology in almost all cases. It's very rare for men to have breast cancer- I've seen only two cases in my 15 year career. The changes associated with make breast cancer are usually fairly striking and noticeable. Safe unevenness is very common. We typically have clear signs to suspect cancer before any surgery and investigate/biopsy any irregularities and know well before any procedure is performed. Obviously, treatment for male breast cancer and a procedure for appearances' sake are two very different surgeries.


Q:

But the black market exists because there is no sale of regulated drugs like marijuana. You will never eliminate the black market if you don't sell the product that people want to buy. Give me a way to buy my marijuana and I would use that.

A:

What is your go to karaoke song?


Q:

I agree, that is what I'm saying, I want to end the drug war and allow people to make their own choices.

A:

Scars can be revised, or there are treatments to improve the appearance if they heal and become too thick or overgrown, and we can plump up any sunken in or uneven spots with fat injections or filler fairly easily. But a scar can't be un-made, only canada auger or improved. The best thing is to have a good surgeon with careful scar placement so that they are small and not noticeable.


Q:

Any idea of what the funding difference is between you and Schumer?

How are you managing to use your funds to their limit?

A:

What is your go to karaoke song?


Q:

Schumer is the biggest fundraiser in the democratic party, he's using his millions from Wall Street and Big Pharma to fund the democratic senate races across the country and isn't really spending in the actual race in NY.

I'm not going to raise near what he has but we've been very deliberate in how we use the money by placing very well targeted and effective online ads where we've reach 100,000s of people across the state. Making trips to the biggest events across the state and traveling in cheap hotels by the cheapest travel. I'm taking every dollar very seriously and people will find despite the shoe string budget we will have run quite competitively.

Although we can always use more to up our efforts which you can donate at AlexMercedforNY.com/Donate

We take all donations seriously and you will see every dollar used to expose people to the values we are advocating for.

A:

RAWR. Go Kelly!


Q:

Well I just mean some things like reporting a gun immediately after stolen make sense, and really don't infringe on ownership rights.

A:

Thanks, it is a good suggestion especially when I need to wear things like tighter fitting dress shirts.


Q:

Anytime in history wher you see billionaires having undue power they have a very cozy relationship with government that includes the gilded age where many of the railroad tycoons depended on land and financial grants from government that they lobbied for. (This can be claimed for pretty much all the "monopolies" of the time none of them were natural market beasts)

When there isn't government placing barriers to competition competition naturally manages the size and powers of firms. I'm not saying this will be perfect but institutions will be more Nimble as circumstances change.

Federal rules change slowly and are often slowing down institutional change as culture, technology, and values change.

A:

I don't know who suggested three months off for recovery... We don't even recommend that for double mastectomy cancer patients. This is a very superficial process that does not alter any major blood vessels, nerves, muscles, or tendons. Imagine you had a really, really big mole... or a birthmark... that needed removal. It is hard to speak for cash costs in different regions of the country. A Google search that brings up a few area breast specialists or plastic surgeons is a good place to start. A phone call to their office will probably get you ballpark amounts pretty quickly. The question is how aggressive are they and how much experience do they have with different techniques and different sizes issues. You also want symmetry addressed. Even though this is only one side, you may want the other side evaluated so that dormant tissue doesn't "wake up" as you get older. But insofar as needing to be off work for three months? Nope. I wouldn't say that to anyone I plan on treating.


Q:

Are you suggesting we amend the constitution to remove the copyright clause?

A:

Can I see you're previous work? What is the most challenging part of this surgery and what problems do you typical find during surgery and after follows up?


Q:

Not really, doubt there is the political will for that but if politics changed I'd support it

A:

We have pictures here: gynecomastia link

Most people have a pretty dramatic immediate result. But, it takes a loooong time (2-6 months) for all the healing to settle in, toughness to dissolve, and swelling to go down. It can be frustrating to see how much better it's going to get, and people get impatient. I haven't had anyone have any regrets. And as time goes on, they forget how bad it was and start to focus on other areas they are unhappy with. But that's typical for most things. You finish remodeling the kitchen and the living room looks dated and you feel like you need a new couch.


Q:

Are you suggesting we amend the constitution to remove the copyright clause?

A:

Are pointy nipples a form of gynecomastia? A man of normal weight without a fatty chest, but nipples that could cut glass, all the time? Is it the same thing, and is it something that can be fixed?


Q:

I don't support US involvement not cause I don't care but there really isn't happy ending. It's pretty much matter of control by Assad or Isis both which are bad for the US and the people of Syria. If we choose a side we will earn scorn by the suffering people of Syria.

Aside from help facilitate charities devil wrong food and toys and taking in refugees I don't the US can or should try to interfere more so in the conflict.

A:

For some men, they don't relax very much and the nipple portion is much more prominent. It's not so much a feature of gynecomastia, where the tissue has a softer, fuller, more feminine appearance, usually. It's a variant of normal for men, but if it's something that is really, really bothersome, or if you are a professional window cleaner and you keep damaging buildings with your nipples, then it certainly is possible to reduce them and make them less noticeable/hazardous.


Q:

I would love nothing more than for Schmuck Schumer to lose his job.

When do you think the NX will be revealed?

A:

I'm a transgender man and had top surgery two years ago (bilateral mastectomy with nipple grafts). I had twenty pounds of tissue removed.

I'm curious as to how gynecomastia surgery may differ from what I had done?

Do you see many trans men in your line of work?


Q:

What is the NX?

A:

With FTM top surgery, there is (usually) a much larger skin envelope to consider and much more glandular tissue that must be cut out. So there are more design elements to consider. The minimally invasive approach is more conducive to gynecomastia because a higher percentage is fat that can be sucked out through a liposuction probe. We support the LGBT community and feel they should have the best access and support to achieve an appearance that allows them an authentic life. I have not had an opportunity to work with many trans patients, but I would love to. I'm very interested to see how far we can get with the techniques we have developed for gynecomastia with top FTM surgery to improve scars and prevent the need for nipple grafting.


Q:

Nintendo's new console they refuse to annouce.

A:

OH! I need to look that up, I mainly play with my PS4 these days but havn't had a chance to play on the campaign. Looking forward to getting back to Disgaea 5 and Fallout 4. I'll probably get an NX after its initital release.


Q:

I no longer live in NY, but I grew up in Southwestern NY (Jamestown area) from birth until I was 18 years old. That said, I have one main question.

One of the things I saw while growing up near the Seneca Indian Reservation was all of the preferential treatment they got by both the State and Federal Government. One primary example of this was several years ago concerning the cigarette tax, where Seneca Indians were burning tires on the highways/interstates and brandishing weapons at law enforcement -- none of which was punished -- ultimately resulting in giving them what they wanted.

The above said, if you were elected as one of the two Senators for NY, do you plan on continuing the trend of appeasement with the Seneca reservation if another situation were to come up with them?

A:

This is more of a local law enforcement state legislature issue. Bottom line laws on US Soil should be enforced. Reservations are not US Soil so I imagine there is Jurisdictional issues I may not fully understand but would certainly look into to see if there is anything I can at least express to local legislators.


Q:

What do you think the biggest issue is in America right now?

A:

The Economy, poor economics is what makes people hate and seperate each other into groups. We can raise peoples incomes by addressing cost and not imposing news costs on businesses but restoring markets that no longer exist in healthcare, housing, and education that eat up a lot of our incomes.


Q:

What are your thoughts on man made climate change?

A:

While everyone agrees it's happening, the models are diverse on what will happen. You can't control everyone, you just can't so people who want to regulate as a solution I feel are going down the wrong path. I think technology and creating a better environment for investment will go a long way in the right direction.


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

My rainy day account plan - https://youtu.be/c2DHuX-wZCA


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

Yes I would


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

No because I did the AMA 10am to Noon then went to HOFStra I'll answer more when I wake up. I'm not on Reddit 24/7


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

Don't know


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

I want everyone to have healthcare, so I have no problem with universal care Injust don't want government providing it


Q:

Is it true that the Libertarian platform promotes open borders? How do you propose the countries handles immigration through open borders?

A:

Triceratops


Q:

Hello, I'm not from the US.

In your opinion, what's the biggest issue with your country's electoral system?

A:

The main problem with the electorate is how consequential it has become. The more power government has the more elections matter, and the more incentive there is for those in power to place rules that give them advantage to the point individuals have little influence. We can try different voting methods, but as long as governments power is growing any system will be corrupted.