Category Archives: Medicine

Around WordPress.com – 12/6/06

Here are a few more posts I found interesting, amusing, whatever.

Slide by and leave a comment. You don’t have to agree with ’em. It’s just blogging.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Military, Music, Pets, Politics, Science, Sociology, Sports, WordPress.com Blogs

Around WordPress.com – 12/5/06

Here are a few posts from around WordPress.com.  I’m linking to them because I enjoyed reading them and thought maybe somebody else would too. They aren’t in any order, other than how they popped up in my aggregator , or the order I found them via their tags.

That I liked something doesn’t mean I agree with it, believe it, or anything else. It just means I liked it.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Movies, News, Politics, Science, Sociology, WordPress.com Blogs

The day after

Well we have a new congress. Most pundits seem to think it’s a rebuke to the Bush team in particular and the status quo in general. So, what can we expect to change? Nothing anybody who isn’t represented by a powerful PAC calls for, that’s for sure.

Here are some things that almost certainly won’t change, at least for the better, by the time the ’08 elections role around.

  • We won’t be out of Iraq. In fact, we’ll be even more bogged down there than we are now, and the independent voters are apt to blame the Democrats for that.
  • There will be at least as many, and probably more, Mexicans, Venezuelans, and muslim-extremist pouring across our southern border as are today.
  • There will be even more people without healthcare and healthcare prices will have risen another 20% (by ’08).

What we can expect is more legislation, like the latest Medicare debacle, that is crafted by and for big business. The politicians will continue to mortgage the nation’s future with their out of control spending. With any luck, there will be a fist-fight, maybe even a duel, fought in the House of Representatives.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Military, Politics

War on drugs; another fool’s errand?

Why are some drugs illegal in the US of A? A comment from my other reader, gizo, got me thinking about this. As is almost always the case with me, I have no idea what the actual answer is. I have donned my tinfoil hat, however, and will now try and pierce the mystery.

The easy answer would be that those drugs that are illegal are dangerous. The prisons in the US are full of people who did bad things while under the influence of drugs. They are also full of people who were simply under the influence of drugs, and didn’t do anything more than happen into the wrong place at the wrong time. They are there because they were in possession of drugs, or maybe because they flunked a subsequent drug test. Interestingly, the drug most of the sociopaths that populate our prisons were under the influence of when they did whatever heinous thing they did was alcohol.

Does it make sense to put non-violent citizens who are guilty only of using drugs in places where there is nothing to do but become violent, use drugs, and engage in sex with others of their gender? It certainly doesn’t make much economic sense, unless you’re somehow affiliated with the criminal justice system. If drugs were legal and readily available we could cut the number of lawyers, judges, cops, and prison guards by at least half, and probably much more than that. That would mean we could do something else with all those billions of tax dollars we blow fighting a fight that’s not winnable.

Then there’s the health argument. Lots of unfortunates would die if drugs were legal. They die anyway. Substance abuse is inherently dangerous, legal or not. Deaths due to illegal drugs are a tiny fraction of those resulting directly from the effects of alcohol or cigarette smoking. If drugs were legalized, almost all the crack-heads and meth-monsters would certainly die in short order. But if crack and meth were free, they wouldn’t cause much trouble doing it. We’d have to pay for a bunch of burials the first year. After that we’d be in the black.

I suppose doing much to de-stabilize the drug based economies of South American countries would further empower Marxist like Hugo Chavez. Maybe that’s another reason the government doesn’t consider legalizing drugs. We’d put the entrepreneurial criminals out of business and strengthen the socialist at the same time. I guess that’s a bad thing. At least the cocaine king-pins are capitalist.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Politics

China and the human organ trade

It’s difficult knowing what to think and/or believe in the Age of Bullshit. For the most part, I don’t believe anything I don’t see for myself. My standard reply when ask what I think about almost any sort of bullshit is “I don’t know. I wasn’t there”.

Unfortunately there’s the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” rule. I don’t necessarily subscribe to it. Sometimes, though, things have that proverbial “ring of truth” to them. The latest goings on in China, as reported by Falon Gong members, are unthinkable, unless of course you consider what we know China is capable of. (Remember Tiananmen Square?) It has the ring requiring a second look, at least from me.

China is said to be harvesting the organs of Falon Gong members and using them in their booming organ transplant business. The “donors” are murdered either during the operations or shortly thereafter. I was a little taken aback when the Chinese were slaughtering dogs recently. But taking people’s organs, not to mention their lives, is just mind boggling, even for an American and survivor, so far, of the second Bush administration.

The mainstream media is largely staying away from this one. It’s evident that giant corporations, and their puppet, the U. S. Government, are all China all the time. All that matters to them is the money, and a billion plus Chinese add up to major money. Maybe that’s why the mainstream media is so quiet. I’m sure they dream of one day opening China up to their advertising. For the most part I find the blogosphere’s sense of self-importance comical to pitiful, but maybe this (exposing China) is a case where it’s actually a useful thing.

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Filed under Medicine, News, Politics

Medicare cheating granny?

My grandmother is 91 years old. Like a lot of 91 year olds, and I realize there aren’t a lot them, she’s more prone to physical affliction than most sub-91 years olds. She has good days and bad days. Her good days aren’t as good and her bad days are worse than those of the majority of younger folks. It’s the price she pays for having endured for so long.

Back in May she was doing pretty good. Unfortunately she was working out in her yard more than she should have been, and broke a vertebrate in her back. She doesn’t know exactly how she did it. I don’t think it’s particularly difficult for anybody to hurt their back anytime. When you’re ancient, it’s all the easier.

Anyway, after a few weeks she had an operation. She says that the surgeon injected some sort of “cement” into the broken vertebrate. The results were amazing. She was much better in a matter of days and had recovered all but her strength within a month. There’s a lot to be said for modern medicine, and some of it is good.

The tab on the operation ran to about $5,000 dollars. I’m not exactly sure of the breakdown. She was in the hospital for several days, so I’m sure the total bill was many times that. At any rate, the actual procedure, performed by the specialist/surgeon, was about five grand. A bargain, at any price, as anyone whose ever been in any sort of severe pain will surely attest.

Medicare, I thought, would pick up the bill for the operation with no questions asked. Unfortunately that’s not been the case, at least not so far. In fact, Medicare is refusing to pay for it! They’ve paid for other medical procedures she’s had over the years. Why would they balk, even for an instant, at paying for an operation that almost certainly saved her life?

The matter hasn’t been resolved yet. Maybe refusing to pay initially is a ploy by the government to cheat people out of what’s coming to them. The U. S. government is pretty lowdown. I’m having trouble believing it’s low enough to actually not cover what is bound to be a standard surgical procedure on a 91 year old citizen. We’ll know soon enough.

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