You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once. - Robert A. Heinlein -
Friday, August 24, 2007
This is America
We all know that the terrorists are sub-human pond scum. Doing things like setting fire to a five year old boy. What kind of mindless, soul-less thing does that? An islamic terrorist does.
Americans on the other hand, well, we take care of five year old boys who have been set on fire by the terrorists.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
But, but, but....
That's right, more soldiers died under Jimmah Cah-duh than under President Bush.
Damn, for all the rhetoric coming out of the Left, you'd think those numbers would be reversed. But it seems that them white folks keep dying at a higher rate than any poor oppressed minority. I guess that's one more talking point shot down. At this rate, the lying moonbats are going to have to actually do some thinking!
What caused these nurses to hang back from offering the ordinary, unskilled comfort that would once have been seen as the heart of their calling? I am tempted to simply blame it on the NHS. Certainly this case is something to set against all those stories we hear from those benighted lands where healthcare is not financed by taxation. Of course I do blame the NHS for the dreary catalogue of delays and mismanagement that Catherine Brown suffered before the birth; the wait for a scan, the further wait for pain relief, and the fact that she had to lie in a mixed sex ward and the fact that they nearly dumped Edward's dead body. But that is old hat. Things were no different a decade and a half ago when I was in labour in another hospital in Essex and the midwife was obliged to run out into the corridor and yell "Where's the fucking obstetrician?" And my would-be epidural man popped his head round the door and announced that he was ready to begin twenty minutes after the birth. I did not hold it against them. It was a difficult day, lots of births happening at the same time. At least they tried. In Queen's Hospital as Catherine Brown crouched over the support bar of a disabled person's lavatory to deliver her doomed child, they felt themselves unqualified to try. More than their jobs were worth.
Everywhere the government takes control of Health Care, the quality of Health Care begins to plummet. How many people died during a heat wave in France a few years ago? Thousands. In a heat wave.
Government Health Care. Socialized Health Care. Single-Payer Health Care. I don't care what you call it, it all amounts to the same thing. Piss poor health care and the deaths of people who could have lived.
Found via Kim du Toit.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In response to a commenter
Wait a minute.
I am a Conservative from Canada.
While I admit, our systems is not perfect, I'll also tell you that your's is not either.
Perhaps if you knew something about us you would understand.
Please temper your 'astonishment' with these facts.
The Province of Alberta’s economy is booming. Infrastructure is having a hard time keeping up. Everything from health care to transit to daycare to power to sewage and so on is stressed.
Look at a map. Canada is VAST. And population densities vary greatly. Saying that no Canadian hospital had four neonatal beds is just plain dumb. I'm sure there were lots of Canadian hospitals that could have accommodated met the need for beds. The choice to go to Montana had more to do with proximity than anything else.
A ‘small town’ of 60000? Is that what you call a small town? To put it into perspective, the Province of Saskatchewan (the Neighbour to Alberta) has less than a million people and is comparable in size to Montana, Wyoming and Utah combined.
You don't think people die because of the deficiencies of your system? Ok. Whatever.
I look at this as an isolated incident. There were many mitigating facts that you are not aware of, or chose to ignore. You might also be unaware of the fact that the Alberta’s healthcare system will have to pony up $200,000 for the service. But the whole thing would have cost Canadian taxpayers in the order of $60,000 if they’d had the capacity. On the face of it, our system would seem to more efficient…
Now, do I believe that all health care provided should be done so by the government? Well no. I personally have no problem with privatization of some of it. My view is somewhat controversial in Canada. But when it comes to health care Canadians as a whole are not very pragmatic. But let me tell you that the ‘survival of the richest’ system you have is not the ideal. Not by a long shot.
Gargoyle | 08.22.07 - 4:26 pm | #
My comment, which is posted here because it's too large for Haloscan:
No, I don't think that the American system of health care is perfect. I worked in a hospital for years when I lived in Seattle, and I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. But to characterize it as "survival of the richest" is just flat out wrong.
Let me put it this way: If there was a Canadian hospital capable of taking care of the medical situation, then why wasn't the mother sent there?
Look, I don't want to just start taking random pot-shots at Canada. My respect for the Canadian Armed Forces and the majority of Canadians has been vocalized on this blog several times.
However, the Canadian government, and by proxy the people who voted that government into power, have made quite a mess of a few things. For example, they've gutted your military and reduced it to a weak shadow of it's former self. Why? Because the USA is here to do the heavy lifting.
I find that horrifying. (And bear with me, because this does have a point that relates to the topic at hand.) During the Invasion of Normandy, the German troops would refuse to engage with the Canadian divisions, because the Canadians killed too many Germans. So the Germans would search out American and British troops instead, and simply avoid the Canadians whenever possible.
In short, the Canadian military used to kick ass. And now, your military couldn't protect your own country if you needed to. Not due to a lack of fighting ability, but due to simply a lack of personnel.
But you don't need to be able to fight an invading force, because anyone who even thinks about invading Canada is going to get such a red, white and blue asswhipping that people two centuries from now would look on the invading country as some of the stupidest people ever born. In short, you've subsidized your military obligations to the USA.
You're not the only country to have done so. During the 1990's, when the situation in Bosnia came to a head, the French military had to rent out tourist ferries in order to get it's troops transported to where they needed to be. The only military in Europe that could stand toe to toe with America is Britain's and that would be a short lived battle because they don't have the logistical capabilities they used to have. They got rid of them. Didn't want to spend money on them when American had everything they needed!
Now, here's where that analogy ties in.
In some bit, the same could be said of your medical system. Is American health care expensive? Yes. Part of that is the fact that it's America that's paying for all these nifty new drugs and machines that keep coming out. That cost gets passed down to the consumer. Canada and the rest of the world are riding on America's coat-tails when it comes to medical innovation. New drugs aren't cheap - there is millions of dollars invested before the drug even starts to be tested. And most drugs don't pass FDA testing, which means that the millions invested in that drug are now gone with no return. All of that cost is passed down in the cost of new drugs.
New drugs, by the way, which are not available in Canada. Because your government will not honor the patent on them. Many countries refuse to do so. They also refuse to pay the price set by the drug companies, which means that while Americans may bitch about drug prices, they're at least able to buy them. There are many countries that can't or won't. There's a reason why Americans have a higher survival rate after cancer than all of Europe. It takes drugs about four to seven years from the date of release to make it up to Canada and many other parts of the world. Or, in other words, they don't get released in Canada until the patent runs out.
Another part of of the cost is the American sue-happy idiots who want to make a quick paycheck by suing doctors. That cost also gets passed down to the consumer. That's a problem that we in American need to solve.
Here's another reason health care in America is expensive: The people who pay for health care are subsidizing those who will not. Don't make the mistake of thinking that people who don't have money don't get health care - I've seen first hand millions of dollars spent on medical care for people who couldn't even pay for a candy bar. It's illegal to refuse health care to anyone in a Hospital. I've seen people who could not pay, would not pay, and had no intention of paying for health care spent months on a floor of my hospital. They were never refused health care. So what does that mean? It means that people now whine about not getting elective surgery paid for by someone else, but nobody is going to die from a lack of health care. Period. End of story.
Back to the story that started all of this - if there was another hospital within a three-hundred mile radius that could have handled the mother and her quadruplets, where was it? Why did this woman have to get sent to another country to have her babies?
The fact that this question even needs to be asked should show you how far your medical system has fallen. OK, so maybe that hospital was full. There wasn't another hospital within THREE HUNDRED MILES that could have taken them?
That's an issue.
By the way, I don't just temper my option of the Canadian health care system on my own experiences, I also listen to people from Canada. When I worked at the hospital in Seattle, I saw plenty of Canadians who were coming down to get medical treatment that they either couldn't get in Canada, or could not get it in the appropriate amount of time. I have seen people die because of a LACK of health care from the Canadian system.
So in the end, I never claimed that the American health care system was the bee's knees. But I will make this statement: It's better than most of the systems out there. Including Canada's.
Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst system of government, except for every other one." The same could be said of a lot of things American. Our health care system might have it's bugs, but if my life were on the line, I'd haul my ass to America before I go anywhere else.
And a lot of other people would as well. They do it every day.
Two weekends ago - promotion board. Then instructing marksmanship on a laser training system.
Two weeks ago - busting my ass with the unit's deactivation trying to ensure that the troops were taken care of.
Last weekend - drill - busting my ass with the unit's deactivation trying to ensure that the troops were taken care of.
This week - trying to tie up all loose ends with paperwork, getting orders for the troops, transfers, awards, ect., dealing with files and other various assorted things needed to help the troops.
This weekend - UPL course on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Next week - more of the same.
So for those that don't have basic math skills, this is going to be nineteen straight days of hopping like a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. So just expect posting to be somewhat light from me for a little while. When it's all over, I'm going to crash into bed and sleep for forty-eight hours without interruption. I'll have the neighbors come take care of the dog, if I need to.
Adding on to my wife's post below
No wonder American society has a completely unrealistic idea of what "beauty" really is. Even the models don't meet the standard for beauty these days. Think about that! The women held up as standards of good looking women are airbrushed, photoshopped, and altered so that every photograph is nothing more than an artful lie. And yet, women are supposed to fit this standard of beauty?
I don't think so.
My disgust with modern models has been voiced on this blog a couple of times. Let me restate it right now - the modern picture of "beauty" is a fake, a fraud, a lie perpetuated by European fashion designers who prefer adolescent boys rather than full figured women. For anyone who wants to know what real women look like, may I suggest a perusal of Kim du Toit's Weekend Women? Just skip past the few men that he puts up for his women readers.
Anyways, that's that.
Twiggy and the Media VS reality
The Media Says You're Too Fat, What do You Say?
It's no secret that American women are preoccupied with body image. The pervasive images of thin women found all over the media (usually a size two or smaller) have given women a skewed view of what the average female body should look like.
Increased exposure to images of thin, airbrushed, female bodies can be linked to depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of unhealthy eating habits, reports the Media Awareness Network.
What's more, 78 percent of women say that they are bigger than they want to be. And, 56 percent of women want to be a size 8 or smaller (when the average size is 12), according to a survey of 2,000 women.
The survey — conducted by TSC and sponsored by Slim-Fast — examined the psychology of size and how women view their body. A few of the key findings include:
- Out of the women who felt poorly about their body 65 percent avoid going to the beach or the pool; 42 percent avoid shopping for clothes; 40 percent feel uncomfortable being nude in front of their partner.
- Only one in five women considers herself to be the ideal size.
- Most survey participants said they need to lose an average of 38 pounds to reach their ideal size.
"The wider the gap between your ideal size and your actual size … the less likely you are to feel happy confident, attractive, sexy of in control," Martz adds.
The survey also found that as the media continues to promote thin body images, women (75 percent surveyed) are less likely to be happy with their appearance, long after they've reached their goal weight.
Martz advises that women pay less attention to the thin images prevalent in the media and create "realistic weight loss goals." Only, then will women have a healthy attitude toward their bodies.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
medical coverage for other than active duty (retirees, reservists and their families)
Some TRICARE Prime Networks Seen Too Costly To Keep
More than 168,000 TRICARE Prime enrollees -- those in managed care networks set up more than 40 miles from a military base or a base closure site -- could lose access to those networks and therefore pay higher out-of-pocket costs under new TRICARE support contracts to take effect in 2009.
Retiree advocates say a proposed change to the next generation of contracts, floated by TRICARE in a draft bid proposal, would encourage contractors like Humana, TriWest and Health Net to make more cost-competitive bids by dismantling provider networks that aren’t near military treatment facilities or Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) sites.
Cutting the number of Prime Service Areas, or PSAs, would save the government money, but it would hit thousands of beneficiaries in the wallet. Retirees, their spouses and survivors living more than 40 miles from base would lose access both to TRICARE Prime and also to TRICARE Extra, the military’s preferred provider option. They would have to shift to TRICARE Standard, which for beneficiaries is the most costly of TRICARE’s three options. The number of doctors willing to accept TRICARE patients also could tighten in areas where PSAs no longer would exist.
TRICARE officials declined to comment on the potential effect of the draft Request for Proposal, or RFP, which was released for review by potential bidders and other interested parties a few months ago. Officials said they don’t want to influence comments they receive. An official did emphasize that the RFP is only a draft. But the comment period in fact closed July 19 with few filed. A final RFP is expected to be issued soon.
The new contracts likely will be awarded next year, take effect in March 2009 and run for six years. Such contracts are vital to TRICARE, the health plan of 9.2 million military beneficiaries. More than half of all beneficiaries, roughly 5 million, are enrollees in Prime, the managed care option. Service members get care at no charge. Other Prime enrollees pay an annual fee of $230 for individual or $460 for family coverage, and modest co-payments for doctor visits, lab tests and hospital care.
Beneficiaries who prefer to chose their own doctors, or who can’t access Prime where they live, use TRICARE Standard instead, a fee-for-service plan. Standard users pay an annual deductible of up to $150 for individuals or $300 for families, plus a hefty share of all medical bills -- 20 or 25 percent of “allowed charges” depending on patient category. Standard users can be stuck with additional costs if doctors won’t accept TRICARE allowable rates. But total medical costs per family cannot exceed a $3000 a year catastrophic cap.
A third option is TRICARE Extra, also for patients not enrolled in Prime. Extra provides a five percent discount on co-payments set under Standard because beneficiaries agree to use a Prime network provider.
Because the military only has hospitals, clinics and staff to treat a fraction its beneficiary population, it partners with large private-sector healthcare companies to run robust networks of healthcare providers. Support contracts for Prime alone cost the Department of Defense an estimated $6 billion a year.
Humana Military Health Services, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., has the managed care contract for the south region. TriWest Healthcare Alliance of Phoenix services the western region. Health Net Federal Services, of Rancho Cordova, Calif., has the north region contract.
When these current contracts were let, companies were allowed to add millions of dollars to their offers by promising to establish PSAs for beneficiaries living far from any base. Contractors were rewarded, or at least not punished, for such initiatives. Even if they could not claim to be the lowest bidder, they could still win the contract by claiming best value.
The draft RFP for the next generation of contracts says specifically that bids will be judged on providing Prime networks only for “government mandated PSAs,” those near military treatment facilities and BRAC sites. Any additional PSAs “will be evaluated as neutral,” which means a contractor will not help their competitiveness in this round by promising to extend the number of PSAs beyond base catchment areas.
At our request, TRICARE officials gathered from the three current contractors their estimate on the number of beneficiaries enrolled in PSAs that are more than 40 miles from bases or BRAC sites.
Humana, which touts 100 percent Prime coverage across the South region, reports 90,281 beneficiaries enrolled in these non-government Prime service areas. In the North region, Health Net has 18 PSAs outside of government areas with 59,049 beneficiaries enrolled. In the West region, TriWest operates only eight of these PSAs. They have 18,738 enrollees.
No representative for any of the three current contractors agreed to speak on the record about the potential impact on beneficiaries if the next support contracts adhere to TRICARE’s draft guidance. One source said Humana officials are particularly upset, given their investment in creating Prime service areas across the South region. With stiff competition expected for the next multi-billion dollar contract, Humana officials reportedly see the proposed neutrality toward operating region-wide PSAs as targeting a key advantage they hold over competitors.
TRICARE Prime Remote coverage would be unaffected by the new contracts. This special program allows active duty members and their families assigned away from military treatment facilities to get whatever care they need, from whatever doctor they choose, without paying more out of pocket than they would if they were enrolled in Prime.
Light posting day
The Other Side of Kim du Toit
Random Nuclear Strikes
And from the du Toit's, The GunThing.com Forum
Vick plead guilty
This is a case of letting your base instincts control you. And it's going to cost him. Millions.
What a dumbass.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Follow the links
A rare set of identical quadruplets, born this week to a Calgary woman at a Montana hospital, are in good health and two of them were strong enough to be transported back here Thursday.
The naturally conceived baby girls -- Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia -- were delivered by caesarean section Sunday in Great Falls, their weights ranging between two pounds, six ounces and two pounds, 15 ounces.
Their mother, Calgarian Karen Jepp, was transferred to Benefis Hospital in Montana last week when she began showing signs of going into labour, and no Canadian hospital had enough neonatal intensive-care beds for all four babies.
Stop. Stop stop stop stop stop. No Canadian hospital? Not one?
That's a problem, folks. A big problem. Anyone who thinks that handing healthcare over to the government is going to help anyone other than politicians needs to be beated until they get some sense into their thick skulls. But don't just take my word for it. Go read Kate's piece, it's well worth the time spend reading it. There are horror stories about the British NHS that would curl your toes in disgust. Allowing the government to control the healthcare system in America would result in people dying left and right. It wouldn't happen immidiately, but it would happen eventually. All you need to do is look around at the rest of the world. It's not like government healthcare is a brand-new idea, it's being instituted in quite a few countries. And people, when possible, are hightailing it to the good old US of A for healthcare.
Think about it - no Canadian hospital had four neonatal beds. Yet a hospital in a small town of less than 60,000 people was able to provide the medical care this woman and her children needed.
If that doesn't paint a picture of what's wrong with socialist healthcare schemes, I don't know what will.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Yes, ham. We couldn't find a ham that we liked down here, without paying bundles of cash. So we started curing our own hams. First in a salt/spice cure, then smoked, and then wine. We found a couple of different curing techniques, and blended them together to make our own ham. The result is delicious.
Anyways, I told you all that so I could tell you this:
Spaniards are nothing if not dedicated eaters.
Now, hard-core foodies are drooling over the prospect of something truly superlative from Spain, at least in price: a salt-cured ham costing about $2,100 per leg, or a cruel $160 per pound. It's a price believed to make it the most expensive ham in the
world. Don't grab your wallet just yet. And forget about asking for just a slice. The 2006 Alba Quercus Reserve (as this pricey pork will be known) won't be available until late 2008 and you must buy the whole ham or nothing at all. But that hasn't dissuaded gastronomic Web sites and blogs from buzzing with talk of the farm where it is being produced, likening it to a Mount Olympus of pork.
THAT, my friends, is a man dedicated to making ham.
Their herds of black Iberian beauties are kept on a handful of acorn-rich farms in the surrounding meadowlands, walking freely up to 6 miles daily without any wineherds to look after them.
After the pigs are butchered, they are cured in high-grade sea salts and refrigerated at 39 degrees. The salt is wiped off after about 12 days. Over the course of the next three months, the temperature is gradually raised to 68 degrees.
The hams then are brought into one of Maldonado's two warehouse-size cellars where they cure for two years, hanging on a series of interconnected hooks from floor to ceiling, like curtains.
If I could, that's what I would do for a living. Mmmmmmmmmm..... ham.......