Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dear AMA: I Quit!

Dr. Chris McCoy
Policy Chair for the National Physicians Alliance

Dear American Medical Association,

I recently had the opportunity to read your response to the Senate Finance Committee proposal [pdf] for health care reform, and it is clear to me that I cannot remain a member in your organization. Please remove my name from your membership rolls, effective immediately.

In reading the response, I was frustrated and disheartened by the fact that you couldn't get through the second paragraph before bringing up the issue of physician reimbursement. This merely highlights how the AMA represents a physician-centered and self-interested perspective rather than honoring the altruistic nature of my profession. As a physician, I advocate first for what is best for my patients and believe that as a physician, as long as I continue to maintain the trust and integrity of the profession, I will earn the respect of my community. The appropriate financial compensation for my endeavors will follow in kind.

... read the whole letter to the AMA after the click.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Twenty Economic Models Explained

(forwarded from a friend in the UK)

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the crap out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

My comment: The right wing of the American political spectrum appears to believe the Royal Bank of Scotland models is the best. In the US it's known as "UNRESTRICTED, UNREGULATED, FREE MARKET, REAGAN CAPITALISM". It works just fine until someone looked under the hood!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Bush Hangover: Guantanamo Undercuts Our Protests of North Korea

by Mitchell Bard

I woke up this morning to the chilling news that two American journalists had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for the "crimes" of illegally entering the country and committing "hostile acts." We can only hope that the reclusive, bizarre and barbaric leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il (or those working for him), is putting on a show to get the attention of the rest of the world, and the two Current TV reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, will be allowed to return home soon.

The two journalists have clearly committed no crimes (as such a term would be understood in any rational section of the world), and the international community has to stand against the heinous actions of the North Korean government. Clearly, the United States should be at the head of such international action.

But today, I also read about Lakhdar Boumediene, and the truly disturbing story of what happened to him after the 9/11 attacks. An Algerian man living with his wife and two children in Sarajevo, Bosnia, he was working for the Red Crescent in October 2001 when he was arrested and charged with conspiring to blow up the American and British embassies in the city. An investigation revealed no evidence of his involvement in any plot, so a Bosnian judge ordered him released, but the Bush administration intervened, and in January 2002 he was shackled and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

... read the rest after the click.

My comment: How can we take the moral high-ground? How can we set an example for the rest of the world? How can we condemn North Korea in a way that doesn't sound hollow and hypocritical? Who have we become? How are we different?

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Question For Dick Cheney:

Should We Now Waterboard Tiller's Murderer?

from Chris Wright / HuffPo

I have a question for former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been staunchly defending the Bush administration's use of waterboarding and other torture against prisoners in our care. My question: Should Scott Roeder, accused murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller, now be waterboarded? Roeder has just gone on the record stating that further violence is coming, in "many similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal." In other words, Roeder is claiming the now-infamous "ticking time bomb" scenario of what can only be termed domestic terrorism. So, Mr. Cheney, doesn't this mean (following your own "logic") that Roeder should immediately be waterboarded to tell us what he knows? Anything less, by your standards, would be hypocritically picking and choosing which terrorists get a pass, and which don't.

... read the rest on Huffington Post after the click.

Is IOS affecting you?

The very information meant to inform us is actually making us STUPID! It's affecting millions of business people.

Is IOS affecting you?

... or catch the clip on YouTube after the click.

If you don't know Mr. Fish ....

An Offensive Mr. Fish Cartoon Fiesta

from Daryl Cagle's Cartoon Web Blog

I did a speaking tour of China last year and wherever I spoke the audience asked about censorship in America – they were convinced that censorship for us was no different than in China. I explained that cartoonists in America often complain about editors killing their cartoons, but that is different from China because in China it is the government that kills the cartoons – well, not exactly, the editors and cartoonists in China know where the limits are and choose not to cross those limits. The Chinese audience would ask, “isn’t it the same in America?” I’d explain that, yes, we know what the limits are, but American cartoonists are limited by good taste rather than point of view, and if we’re too offensive we know our cartoons won’t get printed. The Chinese would respond, “same here.” I was surprised that I was always explaining what seemed to my audience to be petty differences and the hypocrisy of an American “free press.”

Which brings me back to Mr. Fish, who doesn’t censor himself for taste at all. It works for the Village Voice and L.A. Weekly, but keeps Mr. Fish’s work from being seen by a general circulation audience. I appreciate Fish’s unwillingness to compromise, so I thought I would post a selection of some of my favorite, offensive Mr. Fish cartoons that I would never have drawn myself.

... get offended by Mr. Fish after the click.

Sunday, June 07, 2009