Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Revenge Of The Sith

Yes Revenge of the Sith has its flaws as do all the Star Wars films. First, unlike some I think the acting is subpar in this film, the dialogue is anything but perfect, and at times it seems forced. Why do I give it four stars? Because what it does well makes everything else easily forgiven.

First, the evil Darth Sidius is the best part of this movie. He clearly is the villan that has started the clone war, is manipulating the war from both sides, and (at least for me) perfectly portrays a politician who is hungry for power. Anakin Skywalkers transformation into Vader for some is unbelievable, and I can see why one might have issues with it. However, it is how Darth Sidius manipulates Anakin into believing that he can save his love if he joins the dark side. Further, it is how Sidius manipulates Anakin into believing that he truly is the benevolent one that is probably the most compelling performance of the film.

I found things in this film that can reflect real life which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. First, you have a crooked politician who started the war and is running/leading it from both sides. Second, This same politician (darth sidius) easily manipulates the populace and in the end has them cheering for their own enslavement. Plus I found Darth Sidius very compelling when he stated, "Execute order 66" to have the republic army (who the Jedi were working for) murder the Jedi. He than had Darth Vader kill the Viceroy who were helping Sidius run the droid army on the other side. Just like crule dictators like Stalin or Hitler, Sidius murders those that helped him rise to power. The scene where the lead viceroy of the droid army looks at vader and says, "but Darth Sidius promised us peace" only to have Vader slice him in half with his light saber immediately after makes one think. One has to wonder if Lucus took history as a blue print for this film.

In the end even if you don't like these films you should watch this one. No, the acting is not great, no the dialogue is not fantastic, and the acting is subpar. However, if you understand history this film will make you ask yourself some questions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Desert Island Play List.

Now if I were stuck on a desert island I would also want my Waylon Jennings Greatest with me, and I would have to add in Blues Traveler four. There is of course a CPE Bach string quartet that I picked up some years back that is so beautiful it almost makes you wonder why his dad is more popular. The Johnny Cash album is riveting and full of love and emotion for God, and it often takes my thoughts to biblical passages. Journey is a fav of mine always, Sam Cookes music just speaks to me. Miles Davis album is just classic, and the aaron copeland pieces are pure entertainment. Plus Copelands fanfare for the common man is whats being played as I kiss this world goodbye. After all it is a desert Island.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Heath-care given to us by the kind IRS.

This is what what a friends dad (Dave Edinger) posted on my facebook page when I put a video from the tides foundation titled, "The real goal of the public plan option-squeezing out private and employer based health insurance." This is what crazy Dave (as his son calls him) wrote.

Dave: NO Marcx - the goal is to remove greed and profit motive from a common resource: human health - we are in it together - like our water supply and our garbage collection - it is far more efficient and wise to remove Wallstreet from my street. Half the crap I buy on todays market it shoddy. I have to take my car back to Les Schwab three times - the ... See Moretires leak - My microwave in our new house is garbage - you can not program it, start it or shut it off - it is way over engineered to SELL you crap you dont need buddy -corporate crap from corporate greed - I have to re-engineer half the JUNK I buy - you gonna let MARKETERS look into the best way to heal a inflammed leg from diabetes? You are going to get a $10,000 amputation my friend - when many home remedies are wonder medicines - keep the greed out of GOOD reasoning - or your $2000 Toyota will quickly sky rocket to over $20,000 and you will beg to get the damn thing - all the on board computers and run away brake switches - you are being SOLD my friend, don't be what we call a LAY DOWN. Marketers are poor engineers and scientists. Come on over, I will cook for you - see if you can run this Preheat, defrost, pizza, bake potato, popcorn, two lighted,option accessorized, vented to nowhere Whirlpool box of crap - that you can not turn on and off simply - see if you want that company doing research on the best way to save your leg from a diabetes outbreak - A CONFEDERACY DUNCES, just may be out to SELL ya some crap. American landfills are brimming with garbage from these ego-maniacs and jesters. Lets get together, line them all up, throw them in the pit Mark. I propose the american full Guarantee a total farce. IF my product is a piece of crap I don't want my money back - that is no bargain - I WANT 5 times my money back for my waste of time, and your obvious attempt to defraud and flood the market with landfill material - things would change quickly Mark - Give me a REAL Guarantee America - money back is an absolute insult - we should have a LANDFILL probabilty code - the chance of this product being in a landfill in one year is 100 ! Or 50 - My new sports jacket I recently bought at JC Penny had the buttons fall off within a week. I sewed them back on. With real thread. A month later I reached across my car to open a door - the pocket ripped clean off - the code for the JC CRAP JACKET is 100 - I GUARANTEE this quality of CRAP will be in our landfills within one year. Therefore the code it should show would be a big 100 - pure crap - my 30 dollar belt - thirty bucks ! lasted 2 months- TWO damn MONTHS -and they offer me another one? Hell no - another product carrying the new AMERICAN NATIONAL LABLE of 100. 100% crap - see how many your mark up this next year MARC. Then tell me those grease balls are going to do my health research and foods ingredient trials -please buddy - shoddy in the country has been around since Lincoln and the Civil War - WE have lost Marc - I no longer wear belts. GUARANTEED !

OK his silly pun Marcx was noted. However, instead of getting sucked into absurd insults I decided to use facts instead.

This is what I replied:

Problem is that this bill benefits wall street. See it's going to be implemented through the IRS. The IRS is nothing more than an instrument to collect payments on the national debt for the private bank known as the Federal Reserve. Not one dime of our tax dollars goes for goods or services. This bill adds thousands (I believe 10,000) IRS agents. ... See MoreThe current system doesn't work I'll give you that. However, the current system is partially broken because of medicare and medicaid (government health care). Any hospital administrator can tell you hospitalized medicare patients are a big money hole. WHo pays the price for this shortage? Private insurance. It will bankrupt many private health care agencies. Plus even Walgreen phamacies are going to stop taking medicaid patients because they lose money. I don't care how benevolent one is, if it costs 3 million to stay in business and the govt charges you 4 million you close your doors. Once private insurance takes it in the shorts all your left with is the govt, and that's when the rationing will start. This will take years to unfold but it will happen. Social Security is a forced govt program and look how well it's doing. It's supposed to go bankrupt in like less than 30 years. Someone has to pay for this new health care. Nothing in this world iis free. I don't want the govt telling me what to do. To me, this is watching the orwellian noose being tightened around our neck with a Marxist cherry on top. I wonder if I can ask Obamas masters for a half slice of slavery. I'll try to find a good article I read on this over a year ago and post it here.

The article was By Jane Orient in the January 2009 edition of The New American. Below is that article in it's entirety. I gave Crazy Dave the link to the below article. I doubt he will even look at it.

If they had been designing a health system from scratch, the change agents assuming power in January would have done things differently. Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy would have given us a Single Payer for medical care, as in Canada and Britain (and Cuba and North Korea) and (according to national healthcare promoters) "the rest of the industrialized world."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), on the other hand, doesn't feel he needs to go so far back in time, but he'd make similar changes nonetheless. In his Call to Action: Health Reform 2009, he speaks of failed efforts to enact "national health insurance" or "socialized medicine," starting around the turn of the last century, in 1900. It's finally time to just get it done, they say.

The motive behind their efforts, they also say, has to do with about 46 million uninsured Americans. But the politicians' plans are not just about insurance, which is only a method of payment for medical services. The real agenda is to use "coverage for all" as a lever to make fundamental changes in the way patients are treated — and in the economy and society as a whole. This is evident to anyone who listens carefully. Obama, Kennedy, and Baucus are talking about universal health reform, or what Baucus calls "serious and comprehensive reform of the health system in crisis."

This is also evident if one analyzes the "insurance" model they have in mind to follow — Massachusetts' healthcare plan, which boasts of achieving universal coverage, or almost, by forcing most people to buy insurance or face a tax penalty, or, if eligible, to enroll in a government-subsidized plan. "Progressives" like the plan for several reasons. In particular, young and healthy patients would be forced to pay more to subsidize older, sicker patients. (It plays off the Obama "wealth redistribution" idea.) Instead of pricing premiums according to risk, insurers would have to accept all comers, and charge them all the same. This changes the nature of the product from insurance, which is about the accurate pricing of risk, and turns it into a collectivized prepayment system. Welfare, in other words. Premiums become a type of privatized taxation — a neat way of sidestepping protests about tax increases.

What We're Promised

Obama has promised to allow people to keep the insurance plans they have if they like them. Their plans, however, might no longer exist because they might not measure up (likely won't measure up). The plans won't pass muster if they allow a person to benefit from good health and a prudent lifestyle, and not "contribute" enough to the collective pool. But if your plan can no longer be offered, don't worry; a proposed insurance exchange, like the Massachusetts Connector, would match people up with a "high-quality, affordable, comprehensive, nondiscriminatory Health Plan." Insurers may go along with the scheme in exchange for a guaranteed market: 46 million new customers overnight! And individuals would have to buy a product they might otherwise reject as being unnecessary or too expensive. Obama promised to delay forcing the plan on Americans until insurance becomes "affordable" — by the government's definition, not necessarily the customer's — but he may well accept the demands for mandates.

Obama and friends also promise that they will ensure that providers deliver quality care — better care than we have now. The reformers claim that at the present time the United States spends much more than other countries but still has worse health outcomes. They claim to know this because rankings made by the World Health Organization place U.S. medical care below most other developed countries — far below most socialist countries. In the WHO ranking, France has the best medical care, Italy came in 2nd, the United Kingdom was in the 18th spot, Saudi Arabia 26th, and Canada 30th. The United States came in 37th, just above Cuba (in 39th place). The politicians don't state (or don't know) that the WHO rankings are designed to place a much higher value on "equitable" access and less value on satisfying consumers' desires. In fact, if everyone in a country received poorer medical care than people in the United States, but care was "universal," it could rank higher than the United States. (See "Bad Economics & Medicine" in our January 5, 2009 issue for a more detailed explanation of the WHO rankings.)

And finally, we're also promised savings through nationwide investment in an electronic office management system for doctors' offices. A critical feature of reformed healthcare will be interoperable electronic health records. This "modernization" of the system is supposed to save tens of billions of dollars, at some point, after a hefty initial investment. But its main purpose is to monitor and enforce standards for quality, "medical necessity," reduction of "disparities," and proper billing and coding.

Wrong Diagnosis and Prognosis

The new blueprint will fail for the same reason that the system is already failing: it is really the same old blueprint that violates the basic laws of economics. When the apparent price of something, including medical care, goes down, as because of subsidies, demand goes up. If one is not charged for medical care based on one's level of health and one's number and length of visits to a doctor, one will be more inclined to visit the doctor more often. Collective prepayment drives demand even more, as people who are forced to pay for excessive insurance try to get their money's worth. This causes increased waits for medical appointments and spotlights the biggest problem. As in Canada, there are not enough physicians or facilities to meet the burgeoning demand for "free" services. To get into the "system," you need a primary care physician. In Massachusetts, the first available appointment may be a year away, if you can find a doctor in your area who is accepting new patients.

Exacerbating the shortage of doctors is the fact that when the price of something goes down, there is no incentive to increase the supply (lower payments mean fewer people become doctors). If the price doesn't cover costs and allow some profit, supply dries up completely. Under such a scenario, lines form at gas pumps; grocery shelves empty overnight; and doctors become scarce.

Doctors' Medicare fees have been restricted since the 1980s — and most managed-care arrangements are linked to Medicare. There still are some nice cars in the doctors' parking lot. Some specialist fees are still very high. Many physicians made out very well in earlier years. But contrary to the rhetoric from Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and other politicians, many physicians are already struggling to make ends meet. Especially in primary care. This is already reducing the number of people entering the medical field, and the planned new restrictions on medical care will make the situation worse. In the past decade, the number of U.S. medical graduates entering family medicine and internal medicine has fallen by half. And it's not just the money. Time pressures and increased demands for administrative work contribute to burnout: "I felt like I was becoming a guideline-following automaton and a documentation drone," said general internist Christine Sinsky, quoted in a November 27, 2008 article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Incentives work, but letting patient demand set prices is not in the reformers' toolbox. They just want to redistribute the pain. As Baucus admits, his plan would revise Medicare's payment formula so as to redistribute resources from "high-growth, potentially overpaid aspects of health care to underutilized, potentially more valuable services, such as primary care and prevention." This means that "some specialists might take bit of a nick." It's part of a pattern: more healthcare, less sickness care.

And increased demand for "free" services means increased spending — unless rationing is instituted. Some cost data are available. In Massachusetts, the cost of "universal" care was immensely more than anticipated and annual state spending could top $1 billion by the end of this year, but then Massachusetts knew it was not addressing the cost issue. To try to avoid rationing care, one answer has been put forth: the group appointment, like those offered by Harvard Vantage Medical Associates (HVMA). Patients can get in to see a doctor much sooner if they are willing to share their appointment time with about eight other patients. They all sit in the same room for about 90 minutes while a doctor goes from patient to patient examining them. About 80 percent of patients say they are satisfied with the arrangement; some seem to value being in the same room with the doctor for 90 minutes, even if he is not attending to their individual needs during most of that time. The doctors like it too; they get paid for nine individual visits, instead of the four to six they would otherwise be able to wedge into 90 minutes.

A video of a group appointment, posted on the Boston Globe website, is a vision of the new system. Dozens of comments about the video and its accompanying article show the deep divide between those who favor the radical "change" and those who are appalled by it. As one person commented to the Boston Globe, "I think that as a nation we need to move away from rampant individualism toward a system that embraces shared responsibility in a community. You are more likely to follow those pesky lifestyle recommendations if you feel like you'll not only be letting down yourself and your doctor, but also your community."

"It's a third-world standard of care," wrote another disparagingly.

The group appointment is about the health of society, the collective. The patients in the Globe video all look pretty healthy. Examination of fully clothed people sitting up on folding chairs in a noisy room is not likely to reveal any signs of illness that are not flagrant. The main activity is not the doctor listening to hearts and lungs, but patients listening to the doctor's canned speech about smoking, diet, exercise, and taking all the prescribed drugs. This is not sickness care, which the reformers deplore and that doctors go to medical school to learn how to do. It is not about understanding the individual patient and his illness. It is not about making a complex diagnosis. It is not about personalizing and optimizing therapy in accordance with the patient's needs and priorities. The group visit is for standardized patients with a standardized diagnosis. It's about "education," peer group pressure, and compliance with a cookie-cutter protocol handed down by an expert committee.

It's what reformers mean when they aim to change our priorities to wellness and prevention. The sick are a burden; providing them too much attention could come to be seen as antisocial. "Universal care" might move the United States up in the WHO ranking system, which places a very high value on "equity," and a much lower one on individual patient satisfaction. It would stimulate certain areas of the economy: the provision of information technology to monitor wellness, the expansion of wellness clinics, and perhaps the birth of a whole new industry like the already existing one in Canada to manage ever-growing waiting lists for sickness care. But it wouldn't mean taking better care of people with health ailments.

Enduring Myths

In its entirety, the new plan not only flaunts basic economic principles, it defies observable evidence. Each major premise behind the plan's design is based on fallacious statistics or idealistic desires that show little likelihood of being obtainable.

Prevention:: The reformers imply that the sickness-care system will simply wither away when we are all healthy. Baucus enthusiastically quotes Robert Beaglehole, the World Health Organization's director of chronic diseases and health promotion, in claiming that an estimated 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes, and 40 percent of cancers, could be prevented if Americans stopped smoking, adopted healthy diets, and became more physically active.

However, there has never been a real-life program anywhere that induced a population of previously smoking, sedentary, fat patients to reform and demonstrated such an enormous drop in disease. Leaving aside public-health engineering projects such as sanitation systems, preventive health measures, though valuable, usually do not save more than they cost. The British were long ago promised that once socialized medicine had met all the pent-up demands, and all the prevention programs were in place, costs would go down, and there would be much less sickness. More than 60 years later, people still get sick in the UK and wait years for treatment. The National Health Service never has enough money. And no one learns from the experience.

The uninsured: Then there's the promise that costs will go down if we can just insure everybody and thereby keep people out of expensive emergency rooms. In Massachusetts this hasn't worked because to get in to see the correct doctor to cure their ailments, patients first need to see a primary doctor, and they can't get an appointment. So newly insured patients still go to the emergency room for every medical need, including regular prescriptions.

The constantly repeated assertions about ER abuse, in any event, turned out to be wrong when subjected to scrutiny. An analysis published in the October 22/29, 2008 issue of JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), which looked at 127 studies, showed that six commonly held beliefs about the uninsured and emergency room use were either unsupported by evidence, or equally true of both insured and uninsured patients. The uninsured were actually under-represented among patients using the ER for primary care — probably because they were concerned about the cost. And the claim that huge cost savings could be achieved merely by keeping more primary clinics open during off-hours — reducing ER visits — isn't true either. ERs do charge more - but the actual marginal cost per patient is likely to be no higher than that of keeping a primary-care clinic open after hours.

The uninsured have become scapegoats. Costs are so high, the argument goes, because "we all" are paying to take care of the selfish freeloaders who don't buy insurance. We pay through taxes (such as for Medicaid) and higher insurance premiums (because providers shift unpaid costs). That's true to an extent. Large amounts of cost-shifting happen when people abandon private insurance for Medicaid (public insurance). But those people who are truly uninsured (no private or public insurance) often do pay taxes (except for a substantial proportion of illegal aliens and those people deemed by the government to be "poor" — who usually shift to public insurance) but arguably not their fair share.

About 40 percent of people in the United States either pay no federal tax at all or they actually get money from the government as an Earned Income Tax Credit. Some of them use medical care (less care than insured people use), and some of them don't pay their bills. There is some cost shifting from people who don't pay for insurance to people who do, just as honest shoppers pay for shoplifters, but not much. The amount: 2.7 percent in 2004, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Of the uninsured with incomes at least twice the poverty level, 8 percent received some pro bono care during a year, and 50 percent received care for which they were charged. Of the latter, 80 percent paid in full, and another 10 percent were paying in installments, according to William Snyder in a November 21, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal. The real problem with these folks, as reformers might view it, is not that they don't pay for what they use (they usually do), but that they don't help to pay for what other people use — except through taxes and the higher prices they are often charged.

Unmentioned by the reformers is the fact that government causes far more cost shifting than do the uninsured because of underpayment to doctors and hospitals by the price-controlled government systems, Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid often only pay cents on the dollar toward the actual cost of care given to patients, forcing many doctors to make this money back by charging more to patients who have private insurance — and to the uninsured who pay their own bills. This fact raises the obvious question of what health institutions would do if there were no private sector to shift costs to.

The Obama/Kennedy/Baucus solution to the "uninsured problem" appears to be this: for the uninsured who can't pay big bills, require them to sign up for Medicaid — or for a subsidized "private" prepayment mechanism — so we all pay for them constantly, and not just when they become sick. For the uninsured who can pay, force them to prepay — for care they might or might not use — through insurance premiums.

Information technology: The reformers' favorite panacea is health information technology. Obama promises to "make sure that every doctor's office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year."

The savings, however, are all hypothetical, long-term savings, and they are mostly destined for the insurance companies and government entities that are paying the bills. Converting a medical office to electronic records is extremely costly and disruptive. The cost in terms of diminished productivity continues for years, and is possibly permanent. Anything that slows patient flow is, of course, an advantage to payers (fewer patients, fewer payments). Arguably, electronic medical records introduce more new errors than they prevent — and errors may be impossible to expunge.

It may seem counterintuitive to say that improved technology will cause more medical errors, but it's true because computer program designs, the programming, or the inputting of data can all cause errors. The December 11 Sentinel Event Alert released by the Joint Commission on Healthcare (operating experience and lessons-learned information from the U.S. Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) includes statements such as: "Technology-related adverse events in health care can involve, but are not limited to, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs), electronic medical records (EMRs), clinical decision support (CDS), bar coding or RFID (radio frequency identification), virus threats to information security, CT (computed axial tomography) scanning technology, and the loss of patient data." Patient privacy, of course, is inevitably sacrificed. The real effect of electronic records is to enable intrusive monitoring of every aspect of the patient-physician interaction.

We have much more experience with computer disasters than successes in medicine. Rollout of the £12 billion flagship centralized Cerner IT system of the British National Health Service was halted because it was "hugely expensive," "desperately behind schedule," and a "shambles from the start." Suppliers were "deserting in droves." Frontline professionals were "voting with their feet." Before investing billions, why not learn from experience — preferably other people's experience.

Medical errors: Medicine would be both cheaper and better, of course, if doctors always did the right thing for their patients, both in the way of treating them and in giving illness-prevention advice. Toward this end, the reformers plan to save money by making doctors follow strict guidelines for care. But "proven" disease-management systems exist only if we accept authoritative opinion in lieu of actual evidence.

In a system that permits research and innovation, opinion changes about every five years concerning best practices to care for patients. By following government guidelines, we can be sure that patients will be given outdated care regimens. Even a simple government direction, such as making sure a certain test is done, and recording the results, can prove problematic. If we measure certain processes, like obtaining recommended tests, we may show an increase in the number of patients getting those, but even such a seemingly innocuous mandate would change the allocation of resources and affect some medical function that is not being tested. On the items that we don't measure, such as the activities from which effort is shifted to meet the new goals, we won't know the effect, because we won't measure it. Perversely, unimportant things are generally much easier to measure than important things.

What Should Be Done?

Reformers claim that whatever the cost of implementing the new plan, it can't be higher than the cost of not doing anything. Baucus warns that "we" will soon be spending $4 trillion on healthcare if we don't do something. The answer to those who say we can't afford to do it? We can't afford not to!

Progressives always have a plan and, when they are told their plan won't work, demand that opponents have a plan that's better and more inclusive than the progressive plan. So this is the plan: as Hippocrates would say, "First, do no harm." Not jumping off a cliff is always a good first step, whether that cliff be real or metaphoric, as in government control of medical care. Recognize that health reformers like Obama, Kennedy, and Baucus are not just making empty promises. They can indeed deliver universal "health coverage." But it will be at the expense of sickness care. We've all heard of the military's excuse that they had to destroy the village in order to save it. The Obama/Kennedy/Baucus ploy is to pretend to save the system in order to wreck it, to put additional money and power into the hands of politicians. (Those politicians who are for the new plan, but who don't see it for the ploy it is, really need to brush up on their research skills or get into another line of work.)

Second, realize that America needs to undo much of what the government has already done - to go back to the free market. A free-market solution is never one, universal solution. It is the sum of millions of individual decisions. Allowed freedom, individual decision makers would unleash creative destruction on much of the current system. To allow a solution that is likely to exceed all expectations, and to reduce costs dramatically, it is only necessary to remove the barriers. Some suggestions, for starters:

• Stop all tax discrimination against individually owned sickness insurance. The present system gives tax breaks to companies that provide insurance to employees, but workers who pay for their own insurance get no such deduction. This causes insurance companies to be unresponsive to providing inexpensive insurance for individuals, and it means insurance is tied to a job instead of being portable between jobs.

• Allow individuals to purchase sickness insurance across state borders, to avoid costly mandates by states. State governments create lists of services that insurance companies must cover, including non-illness-related things such as in vitro fertilization. The Washington Times wrote: "A health policy for a single Pennsylvanian costs roughly $1,500 annually. Cross the Delaware into New Jersey ... and a similar health plan costs about $4,000, thanks to state regulations."

• Expand health savings accounts by removing regulatory barriers so that Americans can pay for medical bills with before-tax money.

• End Medicare price controls. Allow patients and physicians to contract for mutually agreeable fees. Medicare can compute its reimbursement by any mechanism it chooses, but that should not determine the fee. This would also have the effect of drastically reducing physician overhead by removing the costs required primarily to justify Medicare's price-controlled, coded fee.

• Repeal the McCarran-Ferguson exemption that permits insurance companies to engage in behavior prohibited to other industries by antitrust law. (Insurance companies can form giant conglomerates that fix prices and make it impossible for competitors to enter the marketplace.)

Much more could be added. But the one-sentence answer is to put patients back in control of their medical dollars and their medical decisions. In a free-market system, prices would be much lower, and patients would have much broader choices. If they had more money in their own pockets - having given less to their insurer - more people would opt for less expensive, less toxic, possibly more effective treatments that insurers have historically refused to cover. Self-insurance for all but the most catastrophic expenses would be very common. There will always be a role for charity and social safety-net programs, but the neediest will be better served by programs targeted to their needs rather than demolishing the ship and giving everyone no choice but to cling to the wreckage.

Jane Orient, M.D., is an internist in solo practice in Tucson, Arizona. She is also executive director of the Association of American Physicians and

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The global empire, Big government and war sucks

Over the past year and a half I have listened closely to two nursing colleagues I have. Both came immigrated legally from Bosnia during their civil war. I have heard stories of economic collapse, wheel barrels full of money to buy food, getting drinking water from a polluted stream, and many more.

This blog will be short and I will only high light some of the things I've heard from my two bosnian friends. I will not reveal their names but will only list quotes they've said that found a place in my mind over the past year and a half.

"This is what happened to us a few years before everyone lost everything. I want to sell my house and have nothing so they can't take anything from me." November Prior to McCain/Obama election. She was speaking of the housing crash and the declining dollar.

"Oh no their not stupid. Once the money does down far enough they just start putting a one on it again." When I thought out loud and on how our government was going to print 1 billion on our bills. In Bosnia a bill would be 1 billion of their version of a dollar. Ya know when their version of one actual dollar a few years prior actually had some value.

"They used to cut the womens babies from their stomach, and throw the infant into the river. They would than cut the womens breasts off and leave her to die." When discussing the war in Bosnia.

Both of these individuals came to the United States seeking safety, and economic stability. What happens when we fall? Where will people run to? If the communist/fascist systems of the world worked so well in the past, why are people still running here? Even in our dilapidated state we are still the only place in the world people turn to for help. We still have in our history the pillars of freedom. The pillars of Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Maybe those who think socialism and big government are the way should go visit those families in Bosnia. Maybe they should listen to some of the stories I've heard.

It has taken me over three years just to get what I have written here. Talking about this is not easy for those who have witnessed it. I pray that none of this happens on our soil. However, it is us the citizens of the U.S.A who have to make sure of that.

As many line up at their ballot boxes voting for slavery. I wonder if they truly understand what they are doing? My guess is no.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Phillip Dru, The road to global enslavement.

Phillip Dru is a poor excuse of a novel, and as such I give it negative one star out of a possibility of 5 stars. Having said that I would encourage every American to read this trash. Why? Because the man who wrote it is Edward Mandell House chief of staff under President Woodrow Wilson and a major political advisor to FDR. This book originally writen in 1911 outlines many of the events that transpired in the Wilson administration and FDR's "New Deal." What might be even more frightening is that House actually reveals how he manipulated the entire system. As the back cover of my copy states, "It has been said that House 'copyrighted fascism' before Mussolini took power in Italy. House was not adverse to the allegation, writing in 1935 that he had 'anticipated Mussolini by several years.'"

In this book House writes of a supposed "benevolent dictator" in Phillip Dru. As Dru over throws the American Government he implements a graduated income tax (The IRS), forms a "League of Nations" (which Wilson attempted a few years after Dru was written but wasn't accepted until it was renamed the United Nations years after Wilson was out of office. Again the book is written in 1911.), sets up a system very much like social security, and eventually conquers Mexico and brings all the Latino countries together into one government (almost like what were seeing with all the NAFTA's, Gatt's, and North American Union talk). After completing House's painful attempt at fiction one can't help but to conclude that for the most part he's been successful. House has slowly tricked the American People into believing that fascism is capitalism. House also established (created) a group called the Council on Foreign Relations. How is this significant? Well this small group has its members in all the important places in government and media (You know like all the top media are members, and yes FOX news big wig Rupert Murdock is a CFR member). Lastly, don't forget that the end game of House's desires is world goverment. Now, I ask you how important is this book?

Don't believe me? Here are some quotes I and a friend of mine have taken from the book.

Chapter VI

" This feeling will grow, it is growing, and when it comes to full frution, the world will find but little difficulty in attaining a certain measure of altruism. I agree with you that this much to be desired state of society cannot be altogether reached by laws, however drastic. Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx cannot be entirely brought about by a comprehensive system of state ownership and by the leveling of wealth. If that were done without a spiritual leavening, the result would be largely as you suggest."

I must thank Stephen T. McCarthy for quoting the following text in his blog allowing me to copy and paste (thus saving me a lot of time). http://xtremelyun-pcandunrepentant.blogspot.com/2010/02/x-y-z-mechanix-of-amerycan-politicz-or.html, is where you can find the quoted text in the context he displayed it.

Chapter XII – “Selwyn Seeks A Candidate”
Selwyn then began carefully scrutinizing such public men in the States known as presidential cradles, as seemed to him eligible. By a process of elimination he centered upon two that appeared desirable.

One was James R. Rockland, recently elected Governor of a State of the Middle West. The man had many of the earmarks of a demagogue, which Selwyn readily recognized, and he therefore concluded to try him first.
. . .
Selwyn settled back in his chair, nodding his approval and telling himself that he would not need to seek further for his candidate.

At Rockland’s earnest solicitation he remained over another day. The Governor gave him copies of his speeches and messages, so that he could assure himself that there was no serious flaw in his public record.

Selwyn cautioned him about changing his attitude too suddenly. “Go on, Rockland, as you have done in the past. It will not do to see the light too quickly. You have the progressives with you now, keep them and I will let the conservatives know that you think straight and may be trusted.

“We must consult frequently together,” he continued, “but cautiously. There is no need for anyone to know that we are working together harmoniously. I may even get some of the conservative papers to attack you judiciously. It will not harm you. But, above all, do nothing of importance without consulting me.

“I am committing the party and the Nation to you, and my responsibility is a heavy one, and I owe it to them that no mistakes are made.”

“You may trust me, Senator,” said Rockland. “I understand perfectly.”

Chapter XIV – “The Making Of A President”
Selwyn now devoted himself to the making of enough conservative senators to control comfortably that body. The task was not difficult to a man of his sagacity with all the money he could spend.
. . .
It was a fascinating game to Selwyn. It appealed to his intellectual side far more than it did to his avarice. He wanted to govern the Nation with an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power.
. . .
In the meantime his senators were being elected, the Rockland sentiment was steadily growing and his nomination was finally brought about by the progressives fighting vigorously for him and the conservatives yielding a reluctant consent. It was done so adroitly that Rockland would have been fooled himself, had not Selwyn informed him in advance of each move as it was made.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Are you kidding me.

I got the following from congress.org...

{If you're a U.S. citizen over the age of 18, you have the right to vote.

If you're convicted of a felony, you could have that right taken away — but it all depends on where you live.

In Kentucky, you'll lose the right to vote forever. In Wisconsin, you'll only get it back after you've finished probation and parole. In Vermont, you can mail your ballot from prison.

Civil-rights groups are pushing back against some of the tighter restrictions with lawsuits, most recently with a successful case in Washington state.}

Are you kidding me??? Why shouldn't we let convicted felons Vote??? After all we elect them to congress, and the guys in prison know these guys intimately. Plus I trust the convict down the street more than I trust my congressman. We here in the good state of Oregon let illegal aliens vote. Heck we even print the ballots in multiple languages for you in case you can't read english. All you need in Oregon is a drivers license, and lucky lucky we have almost NO requirements for getting a drivers license.

So ya why not... Lets let every serial killer and rapist vote. After all these same individuals are going to be running for congress next election anyway.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

If history will tell you anything it will tell you how quickly man becomes corrupted. Please read the Obituary below and then I will continue my story.

Ezra Dana Rodgers married Mary Hellen Sumner. The grandfather of Verne Coons.
Ezra Dana Rodgers Obituary:
Friday, May 29, 1908:
Another G.A.R. Member has been called home.
Ezra D. Rogers passed away last Friday.
Deceased was one of the oldest residents of Nemaha County and a Veteran of the Civil War- was beloved by all.
Ezra D. Rogers, an old and highly respected citizen of Nemaha county passed away last Friday, May 22, at about 9:30 o'clock, at his home on West Second avenue, at the advanced age of 76 years. He had been a sufferer for a number of years from an affliction which was pronounced incurable, but his condition was not thought serious until a couple of weeks ago, when he took considerably worse and failed rapidly until the end.
Ezra D. Rogers was born in Indiana April 7, 1832. His family moved to Illinois while he was yet a youth and later came to Hardin county, Iowa. At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted in the 32nd Iowa Infantry. Eighteen months later he was honorably discharged on account of disability. He was married to May H. Sumner March 27, 1855. Eleven years later the family came to Nemaha county, which has since been their home. They have tasted the joys and sorrows of frontier life. With arduous toil and privations they have done their part towards conquering the wilderness that it might come down to us as a heritage of culture and beauty.
Mr. Rogers confessed his faith in Christ at Eureka, Ill., when about twenty-one years of age, and has been a consistent member of the Christian church ever since, being intensely loyal to the principles which it advocates. For years he was a faithful elder in the church at Nemaha. About ten years ago he moved to Auburn where he and his good wife have since made their home.
Eight children have been born to them: Mrs. Laura Coons, Mrs. Rosetta L. Shubert and William L. Rogers, living in Idaho; Mrs. Mary H. Rimel and Alva R. Rogers, living at Auburn; Leroy D. Rogers and Mrs Effie A. Deerfeldt, living on farms near Nemaha. One girl, Addie, died when a child. These seven children with the widowed mother, who has been a faithful helpmate for fifty-three years, remain to mourn his loss.
The funeral services were conducted last Sunday morning at 8 o'clock at the Christian church in this city by the Rev. Hugh Lomax, pastor, after which the remains were taken to the Prairie Union cemtery near Stella and laid to rest. The Carley Post, G.A.R., attended the funeral service in a body, the deceased having been a loyal member of that organization, and having served in the war gaining an honorable record. The many friends of the sorrowing relatives extend to them their sincerest sympathies in their hour of sadness.

I will continue this post at a later date.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bergmann story, cool read

Century farm contains family memories
By Herman J. Lensing
Ken and Marilyn Bergmann don't farm, but they still own the 122 acres of farmland, north of St. Rosa, which has played a big role in his family's history.
"My father and mother had a family of 14 children," said Ken."Thirteen of them reached adulthood."
Bergmann bought the farm from his father, John. His father had acquired it from Ken's grandfather, August, who had obtained the land from John Hoeschen more than a century ago.
"The farm has an interesting history," said Ken."Originally there were two parts that were homestead, but when August purchased it in 1893, there was just one farm."
August, like a number of early settlers of land north of Melrose, was a native of Germany. "He was born in Allenstein, East Prussia," said Dave Bergmann. "He was born on a farm about 40 miles west of the border with Russia."
August's mother died when he was about 18-months-old. His father remarried and his stepmother raised August.
"At that time in Germany the oldest son had the right of inheritance," said Dave. "After August left the German Army, in 1884, he decided to move to the United States. It wasn't until 1893 that they sent his personal belongings over."
August left Germany to avoid bitterness, which might have resulted had he insisted on his getting the family farm, according to the Bergmann family history. At that time a number of people from Germany were coming to the United States, and August had friends who had settled here. He also had one other reason for deciding to immigrate to the United States.
"We have his discharge papers from the German army," said Dave. "In those papers it states that he was discharged, but he was subject to recall if he immigrated to any country around the Black Sea. If he came to the United States and established a family, he was not subject to recall."
August Bergmann did come to the United States. He married Gertrude Bormes, of Freeport, and they had a family of 12 children."
"We have always said that he came here because he wanted to move someplace where the weather was as miserable as where he grew up," said Ken. "The land here is like the area where he grew up. There are hills and lakes, and cold weather. But he knew some people who had settled in this area."
Prior to moving to the farm near St. Rosa, August had lived for a short time in Meire Grove. He left his mark on the site he had purchased.
"August built the barn and the present house," recalled Dave. "Before that they had lived in a log house south of the present house. There was also an older log cabin, a one room building, that was here before he was. We used that as an icehouse. We used to have ice in the summer time."
The farm, located between a lake and a swamp, always had water, even in the dry years in the 1930s, Ken and Dave recalled. The present house on the farm was built in 1908 by August.
"August and Gertrude moved their family in here, but she only lived in the house about six months. She died because of complications from childbirth," said Dave.
August and Gretrude's son, and Ken and Dave's father, John, purchased the farm after John was discharged from the U.S. Army.
"It was sort of funny," Ken said. "Grandpa had been drafted into the German Army and dad was later drafted into the U.S. Army.
Their father served in the U.S. Army during World War I, and took over the farm in 1919. In 1921 he married Hilda Bruns and they started their family. Their 14 children were: Irene, David, Norma, Melvin, Duane, LaVerne, Eugene, Loren, Joan, Ken, Audrey, Janet, Ellen and Darlene. The farm provided a variety of growing experiences for the family. Ken and Dave recall hunting ducks and pheasants on the land, the various crops they grew and the work they did.
"Did you ever have to ride the horse, or hold the cultivator?" asked Dave of his younger brother Ken. "Cultivating was one of the first things we did after school was out."
Ken never had held the cultivator, but he did have to ride the horse as they cultivated corn rows.
"They usually had the little kids ride the horse when cultivating," said Ken. "That way the person holding the cultivator didn't have to steer the horse."
The cultivator had to be guided between rows of corn. If the lay of the land was hilly, the person on the horse had to steer the horse to help keep the cultivator straight to the rows.
"If you didn't, you could get hit with clumps of dirt," said Ken.
Fun as riding horse sounds, Ken noted at the time he felt he was working.
"I would ride the horse all morning. Dad would let us have a little nap after we had cultivated in the morning and when I got up I would be so stiff I didn't want to move," he recalled.
The horses were used on the farm until the 1950s, according to the brothers.
"Dad liked them," Ken said. "They didn't leave tracks in the fields like tractors did."
But as the horses got older, and tractors became common, they did have a tractor on the farm.
"The only tractor we had was a Ford 2N," said Ken. "It is still in a shed here. We would hire others with tractors to do work, but the only tractor bought for the farm was that Ford."
Corn wasn't the only crop raised. Oats, alfalfa and meadow grass were also harvested for farm use. Flax and clover were grown for cash crops.
"The clover was popular because you could take a cutting for hay, and then later harvest it for seed," said Ken. "All I really remember of the flax is that they told us to not play in the flax bin in the granary. Apparently you would just keep sinking in the flax."
Dave and Ken both recalled that at one time there had been a pond to the east of the buildings on the farm, but it has shrunk in size. The pond was home to ducks and turtles during the year. Ken thinks that it may well be that draining some of the farm's meadows to the south of the building affected the pond size.
In recent years, he has seen an increase in the number of deer and coyotes in the area. The deer increase is interesting because one of the stories his father (John) told was how excited August would get when he saw a deer track.
The Bergmann farm helped to produce crops and families, and it also helped preserve part of the family heritage segment of the family, which stayed in Germany, according to David.
David has an interest in the family history and for a number of years had searched on maps for Allenstein. He could not find it.
"I thought it was a small town, like St. Rosa, which might be too small to put on a map," he said.
One day while talking with a friend, who had escaped from eastern Germany just ahead of the Russian Army during World War II, he asked if she had ever come across Allenstein. It turned out that she had been raised in the town, and knew Bergmanns from that community.
She helped them locate Bergmanns who had since settled in (then) West Germany after World War II. The Bergmanns were able to get in touch with the German side of the family, and even provide photographs of mutual ancestors.
"What they were really interested in was the discharge papers (of August)," recalled Dave, who along with Ken had attended a family reunion in the 1990s in Germany.
While none of John's sons farm the land (it is rented), Ken and Marilyn have kept the farm and use the ancestral home.
"Some people wonder why I keep it," he said. "It is in the family."
The farm, land, buildings and family farm stories associated with them helped to complete a cycle of family memories.
It may be because of those memories, that Ken holds the farm. In their family, the farm provides a link in the family history and culture. It has been the site of reunions and get-togethers for the family.