Skip to content

Call it socialism: “the greatest good for the greatest number”– attack that all you want, but it’s better than “every man for himself” unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2019-04-05

(image courtesy of pixabay. contributed by ArteGamor)

Advertisements

He who must not be named suffers from malignant narcissism and antisocial personality disorder, lies incessantly, loves cruelty, could get violent if he doesn’t get his way– oh, and he’s been getting worse lately.

2019-04-04

His superficial charm and his ability to con people into trusting his promises is incredibly dangerous because he will inevitably betray anyone foolish enough to believe and follow him.  He has already betrayed his own voters by secretly colluding with Russian and Saudi Arabian tyrants.  He has already betrayed the trust of the American people by seeking profit wherever it is offered, from China to Serbia.  He has done so many things to weaken, confuse, and disable our government that he appears to be deliberately destroying it.

Even more frightening is his recent decline into nearly senseless drivel from which coherent utterances seem to be absent.  The only sense that could be made from his latest pronouncement was a claim that the noise from wind turbines causes cancer.

The fact that he was elected president, took over the Republican Party, and has been installing ultra-conservative judges at a rapid clip while he rules by whim for the last two years has filled me with remorse, regret, and disgust.  How can a great country like America not only elect such a man but line up behind him, cover for him, and refuse to call out his lies?

Worst of all, the Department of Homeland Security has disbanded its intelligence unit that focuses on track domestic terrorism (the vast majority of which consists of white supremacist violence).

This man should have been impeached the day he was inaugurated.  That was the only sensible thing to do.  How else do you deal with a man who is so obviously unfit?  If the people are dumb enough to elect him, the Congress should have dealt with him at once instead of “trying to work with him.”

The entire Republican Party has sold its soul in order to get the policies it supports into action.  They know that they represent perhaps a third of the electorate, a distinct minority, but they think they have the right to impose their views upon the majority.  In order to win, they have latched on to the worst demagogue in American history.  I hope that they will get what they deserve for selling out democracy.

Health Care Is Broken– Time for Democrats to Develop practical reforms, to Legislate, and Pay For, an Improvement both in the pay structure and the management of medicine

2019-04-04

 

The electronic medical record, or electronic health record, is an administrative nightmare that is contributing to the burnout of 78% of all doctors surveyed.  People are declaring bankruptcy as a result of medical bills; 40% of all bankrupts mention medical expenses.  Our life expectancy, infant mortality, and other vital statistics are getting worse, not better.  We lag behind numerous other developed countries in healthcare and spend twice as much as most of them for less result.

The problem with healthcare in this country is due to unrestrained greed on the part of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospital conglomerates, and medical specialties.  Every aspect of healthcare is infected with profit-taking enterprises.  Each interest in healthcare is represented by lobbyists in Washington and countrywide who push government and individuals to spend more.

To fight the greed of insurance companies especially, we will need to develop systems that gradually take over the functions of insurance, with some kind of buy-in by companies.  Insurance will have to change its emphasis from determining if a person is covered at all to co-ordinating the care each patient receives.  Companies will have to merge and pool their data.  Government will offer insurance companies contracts to manage the data stream.

Medical records must be forced to become available across all platforms.  Laws will need to be developed that manage information sharing instead of enforcing complete privacy.  In order to facilitate sharing, when you develop records in one location, consent must be given at the outset to share so that reports are automatically sent to other locations that provide care later, when the person appears there.  That is, initial consent documents must include a clause that authorizes data sharing on an as-needed basis later on.

One innovation that has made the adoption of electronic medical records easier is the addition of a “scribe” the the usual personnel in a doctor’s office.  This person follows the doctor around and transcribes a record of what the doctor reports and what is examined, including prescription and therapy orders.  Since the scribe is usually a medical assistant, the cost of the additional person can usually be justified by the improved workflow.

Most important, however, is to co-opt the insurance companies and get them to serve the needs of universal insurance rather than particularized (and much more expensive) plans.  The insurance companies have powerful lobbies to protect them from government action and they will need to be handled with care.  Plans for reform will need to include a role for the insurance companies even if their basic reason for existence– discriminating who does and does not belong to their particular plan– has been removed.

Finally, a radical idea has been proposed about drugs: the government could take over the production of orphan drugs, vaccines, and other items that are in high demand because of effectiveness but that present little or no profit potential.  Drug companies might be willing to trade production of unprofitable drugs by the government (a relief for them) for negotiations on price with Medicare (something they are afraid of).

Some Flowers We Found in the Desert

2019-04-04

Florida Power and Light Plans to install world’s largest storage battery by end of 2021 to facilitate solar power and retire two gas-fired peaking power plants as a result.

2019-04-02

Reported by CleanTechnica.

Florida is pushing to install 30 million solar panels to supply power for its 10 million customers by 2030 as well.  This will address the concerns of a certain president who is worried that we won’t be able to watch TV at night if the wind isn’t blowing.

(photo courtesy pixabay.com)

Rick Reilly, author of “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains [Him]”: “Somebody should point out that the way [He] does golf is sort of the way he does a presidency, which is to operate as though the rules are for other people.”

2019-04-02

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Nancy Hamzawi: “The science is clear – Canada’s climate is warming more rapidly than the global average [twice as fast], and this level of warming effectively cannot be changed…”

2019-04-02

So reports the Guardian, on the web.

Furthermore:

While global temperatures have increased 0.8C since 1948, Canada has seen an increase of 1.7C – more than double the global average.  And in the Arctic, the warming is happening at a much faster rate of 2.3C, the report says.

Under a scenario in which global emissions are dramatically reduced, average temperatures will rise only 3C across the country by 2100, including the Arctic region.

But if countries – including Canada – fail to act aggressively, increases of 7-9 degrees are likely, and the Arctic faces the prospect of 11 degrees of warming.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)