Health Care

Live Action On Abortion - Real Facts, Dissecting the Anti-Planned Parenthood Video

This is an excellent reality-based video by a young Romanian videographer named Christina Rad. Hat-tip to Moby over in the Opinions Unrestrained forum at DelphiForums for posting where I'd find it, and to Stephen at DelphiForums for his initial post on it.

From Moby's post:

Cristina Rad is a young Romanian woman who has independently read the Bible, the Koran and other books on religion. As a result, she became an agnostic, then took the final step to atheism. She's been releasing some pretty intelligent videos discussing various related subjects for about three years. She's got a sense of humor and has fun with her filming and editing skills, sometimes playing multiple characters, dancing, etc.

Thanks to Stephen over at Here Is the News for posting about her.

We need more people to wake up and see through the Right's bullsh!t. Watching more of Christina Rad would be a helpful way to well as a very entertaining and educational one.

Watch and learn...and pass it on:

Cool, eh? -- Yeah, I think so too. Totally Rad, in fact. ;)


Her Final Year: A Memoir

It's now official. My co-author Shadan7 and I, along with our wives, have decided to self-publish our book about our experiences caring for our respective mothers-in-law as they slowly succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease.

The book's title is Her Final Year. Why that title? Because it fits - in several ways. Particularly if you regard the "year" as a metaphor. I'll excerpt from the link above, as Shadan7's explanation for the metaphor sums it up nicely:

The idea for the book – the metaphor, if you will – is that you can consider Alzheimer's progression and impact on a life as something of a whole. Just as the seasons progress, just as the days and weeks and months follow one after another in a fairly seamless manner through the course of a year, so does the disease advance. January starts with hope for a new year, in December you're looking back at how things actually unfolded. You can predict, in general terms, what the weather will be like from month to month – but you can still have a glorious sunny day the week of Christmas, just as you can have a grim and cold weekend in September.

Likewise, someone suffering from dementia can have good days and bad days, even as the general trend of the disease moves relentlessly on to a known conclusion. Furthermore, in no two people will the disease progress in exactly the same way.

Therefore, in order to make our book the most useful to other people, we've arranged the "months" according to the general progression of the disease, and then we've placed individual entries – drawn from email correspondence, blog posts and Live Journal entries – into the "month" where it most seems to fit. There is a general tendency for those entries to follow an actual chronological progression, but it happens that sometimes they don't match up that way. In addition, things are time-compressed: the actual experiences we’re relating happened over roughly four years, but in order to make the most sense of them they've been fit into this one-year framework.

Hence, Her Final Year. Incidentally, the last third or so of the book is a whole other section titled His First Year, dealing with the impact of the caregiving and subsequent recovery from it.


America in Decline: Why Germans Think We're Insane

America in Decline: Why Germans Think We're Insane
AlterNet / By Democrats Ramshield

A look at our empire in decline through the eyes of the European media. (December 26, 2010)

As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective.

35 years ago

Medicare is Australia's publicly-funded universal health care system, operated by the government authority Medicare Australia.

The programme was introduced in 1975 as Medibank, and supplemented by a government-owned private health insurance fund in 1976.

35 years ago Australian politicians voted to introduce universal health care coverage for all its citizens.

Australia - Public Health-Care since 1975

It did not however, come without a fight. Even as far back as 1975, Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Limited, Fox News, was working to dictate the direction of our 'so called' democracy, via his media organization's influence on Australian public opinion.

In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, …

Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected... in 1972 on a social platform that included universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level....

Rupert Murdoch's flirtation with Whitlam turned out to be brief.

As the Whitlam government began to lose public support following its re-election in 1974, Murdoch turned against Whitlam and supported the Governor-General's dismissal of the Prime Minister.

What you see above is an individual averse to social policy which puts young people, irrespective of background, on an equal footing with their peers.

Sunday Open Thread: Are We Smarter Than Our Five Year Olds, Rescue Edition

Hat-tip Claimsman of DelphForums for the heads-up to the video above.

There's a television show called Are you smarter than a fifth-grader which is meant to be fun and entertaining, but in truth it's a rather interesting contrast: do we, as we get older and more experienced, become stupid? Do we incorporate so many facts and figures among our experiences that they turn to mush, taking along with them any sense or sensibility, while the constant screeching of morality and politics from vested interests keep us from taking time out to save our minds?

And yes, that's a leading question, on purpose.

"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future"

            -- John F. Kennedy

Our children learn from our examples. We are the guardians of our future; they are the future guardians of our planet. They are a major part of our legacy. But are we taking our responsibility toward the future and as stewards of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of humanity, as well as the planet and all its resources, seriously?

"I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

            -- Whitney Houston

Here's another outstanding child who also saves her mother by calling 911:

I'd like to think that, for the most part, we're doing a great job for our children: ensuring they have adequate health care and a good education, proper guidance for what is right and wrong, a tolerance and understanding of different people, cultures and religions...but then I look at the world today, and see war, waste, corruption and destruction. I see politics dictating poor policies out of political expedience and sound bytes, leading to cutting children's health care and education or favoring only the children of the wealthy. I see...well, hell -- I see this:

  1. 1/3/2007 "Bless the beastly little children of a lesser god than mine." by GreyHawk
  2. 11/29/2007 And A Little Child Shall Lead Them by GreyHawk
  3. 12/16/2007 Got Kids, Meet Their Future by jimstaro
  4. 11/10/2008 Children Go Where I Send Thee: Die. by rba
  5. 1/26/2009 Children of a Lesser Allah by Jeff Huber
  6. 9/25/2009 Too stupid to be parents by GreyHawk
  7. 11/17/2009 Hier, les enfants dansaient by ConnecticutMan1
  8. 11/29/2009 Project Omelas - Finding a cause by Unenergy

What kind of a world are we making for our children? What kind of a job are we teaching them about waste, abuse, greed, war, kindness, wisdom and sustainable behaviors? What have we taught them about Justice?

It's a question worthy not only of discussion, but -- ideally -- one that should initiate action(s) toward rectifying any problems with have with the answers.

This is an Open Thread.

And what he said: AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, "the Senate bill remains inadequate. Substantial changes must be made"

After passage of the Senate health care reform bill today, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO echos Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) with in his statement of the need for more work in order to align its key measures with those retained in the House bill.  Full quote, as per FDL's David Dayen. is quoted in full:

What she said: Louise Slaughter - "Senate bill isn't health reform"

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, a Democrat, represents the 28th Congressional District of New York.

I agree with Congresswoman Slaughter and she says it pretty simply so I just want you to see her editorial, at CNN.

A Democrat's view from the House: Senate bill isn't health reform:

Ass kissing liberal apologists for failed health care reform

Michael Collins

The myth that the Democratic plans for health reform will produce anything by the target date of 2014 is only exceeded in absurdity by the myth that the world will end on December 21, 2012.

"New media" pundit Eric Alterman is down on his knees, genuflecting before the graven idol of Democratic Party interests. He wrote a full fledged justification supporting the current idol with feet of clay, the Democratic health care reform effort ongoing in the United States Senate. The article looks like talking points hot off the press from the White House Office of Disinformation since he's giving the president credit for all the good things which have materialized as if by magic in the latest Senate's efforts.

To begin with, he failed to note these very real issues in the health care debate: the immediate need by tens of millions for adequate health care and financial relief from exorbitant prices; the preservation of insurance companies at the center of public health care, companies with no interest in or obligation for the public welfare; and, the gross hypocrisy of the president demanding that health reform not add one penny to the deficit while he spends hundreds of billions for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq - pure deficit operations with no discernible benefit to citizens.

Alterman starts out with this catchy header:

Grand Old Party of Teabaggers and Business has Infringed Energizer Bunny Trademark for a Decade

Yesterday Dailykos diarist, 'the girl', hit the recommended diary list with her post of the powerful impact one person may produce in the simple act of shining bright light into the dark space created by deception.

The inherent power over an adversary that is achieved by lying is particularly odious in application to public affairs.  Large sums of money are invested by private concerns to intentionally distort public understanding of matters of great importance, like the current policy debates on health care or climate change, for example. 

Big Tobacco and Big Oil have spent enough money in recent decades to create and sustain whole industries designed for the single purpose of misleading citizens and the decisions of our policy-makers in public affairs.

Because fairness is not part of the organization charter, corporate concerns have only the bottomline at stake which ultimately requires directors --NOT to equitable policy debates but-- to maximize shareholder value.  And, so, we documented the secret memo series through which Big Tobacco bought the GOP half of American party politics to deceptively achieve protection from legal liability beginning in 1994.

So, the big money behind the teabaggers has been trained on the biggest lies for decades already.

When 'the girl' found them also infringing the Energizer Bunny trademark (the prohibited, unfair use of a registered corporate icon) with its use in attacks on public health care policy plans, her notification of the trademark owners at Eveready was enough to move them to consider legal action

Bradblog - Tea Party Express II: Rise Of The Tea Bags

Parts I and II of Brad Friedman's report from the christening of the second wave of teabagging that has striked stricken struck set out across the country from this departure in Southern California.

Brad allows teabaggers to make their point (which is his point) in a very effective way: repeated invitations to enunciate, for example, the list of freedoms taken away under the Obama Administration, left embarrassing voids or the trailing ellipsis. 

"Deficit Neutral" Health Care Reform

Absurdity upon Absurdity

Michael Collins

The health care debate and general political climate compound absurdity upon absurdity.

First we're told that our health care is only worth the time and
effort if the remedy has no negative impact on the budget.  No deficits
allowed.  The deficit risk defines your chances for health and
longevity. WellPoint affiliate Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield sues Maine for refusal to guarentee profit

 Netting $2.5 billion in profits last year wasn't enough for WellPoint, the nation's largest insurance company.

Now, WellPoint's affiliate, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is suing the state of Maine for refusing to guarantee it a profit margin in the midst of a painful recession. 

Forward this video to a friend in Maine!



Better give me what I want or prepare to suffer the consequences.  It is insurance, after all, but does this sound like a protection racket to anyone else?

Open Thread: Gore Vidal Hits a Nerve

Stumbled across this interview with Gore Vidal.  Gore Vidal: ‘We’ll have a dictatorship soon in the US’ from the Times Online.

It is a great article ... will post a couple of snippets here, but please discuss!

Gore Vidal

Last year he famously switched allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama
during the Democratic nomination process for president. Now, he reveals, he
regrets his change of heart.  [...]

 How does he score the administration on Health Care?

Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it
up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it

Brutally honest ... just part of his charm.

This is an open thread ...