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Posted on May 9 at 10:14 a.m.
Hamilton tells us exactly what the founders mean by “well regulated”: “uniformity in the organization and discipline...tolerable expertness in military movements...to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia." If you cannot describe your militia like Hamilton then you are not protected by the second amendment.
On Guns, Congress, and the Commander-in-Chief
Posted on February 7 at 7:05 p.m.
"Worst fuel" you say. Geothermal is little better; it may release carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia; it is also known to cause earthquakes; and, it may destroy geological sites observed no where else in the universe.
We like to imagine an energy as green or not green, but that isn't the case. It's really just a scale. Isn't it? The source of the energy plays a much smaller role than the care and responsibility we place in its use.
If we were really honest with ourselves we would admit that none of them are green: All create some negative impact to the environment and none create a positive one (in and of itself). For now I'll follow your best advice here, Mr. Gee, and buy less stuff.
On Smart Energy
Posted on July 12 at 6:01 p.m.
When you mention freedom, do you mean mine or yours? Do you mean freedom of healthcare or freedom from healthcare? Do you really believe the dumbo ride is an accurate comparison to a mammogram? Do people die if they can't afford to ride Dumbo? The healthcare decisions you make directly affect my ability to receive essential, life-saving, cost-effective treatment. Your affinity (or enmity) for Dumbo will have no relevance. Everyone in this country receives healthcare whether they are private-pay, insured, illegal, poor, lazy, or otherwise. Everyone! Millions of people receive healthcare services for which they do not pay. They are not being asked to buy something they neither want nor need; they are being asked to pay for something they have been receiving for free or, with 100% certainty, will receive some form of healthcare in the future. Yeah, freedom. I would like to be free from the irresponsible and ignorant.
P.S. Mark Twain is quoting Benjamin Disraeli.
On Obamacare: Start All Over Again?
Posted on July 12 at 5:59 p.m.
Medical research does have “something to do with it.” The U.S. spends 30 billion in biomedical research a year. That equates to $100/citizen where it is estimated $8,000 is spent on each American every year for healthcare. If we compare this to other countries that spend $5,000/citizen in total healthcare and $30/citizen in research, we find the U.S. actually spends less in research as a percent of healthcare expenditures (5, 6).
For fun we can ignore the facts and pretend your position is valid. Let us reflect on what the 30 billion has bought recently. I remember two new medications making headlines, a new diet pill and treatment for erectile dysfunction. New promising cancer treatments were announced but overshadowed by the decrease in the manufacturing of such agents, which has lead to shortages nation-wide as pharmaceutical companies dictate supply independent of demand. The HPV vaccine gains national attention but is blocked by conservative opponents, and it turns out some vaccines do not actually vaccinate, in contradiction to their (allegedly manipulated) stated efficacy. America's role in medical research and innovation can be a source of pride (sometimes).
Now, let's look at the DPMA survey you mention (4). The question asks: “How do current changes in the medical system affect your desire to practice medicine?” It is true that 83% of physicians say they are thinking about quitting, but among those surveyed only 11% were hospital-based. This is hardly representative of the population. The number merely reinforces what we already know: More doctors are being forced out of private practice. However, this is a failure of the current healthcare system where nearly 1/5 are without health insurance, a lack of coverage for preventable care, reduced reimbursements, countless other factors, and has been evident long before Obama cared. Question 7 goes on to ask for blame in “current problems” and attributes it to both public and private sectors as “ninety-five percent say medicine is becoming too controlled by large corporations.” You say: “over 80% have considered quitting due to the ACA,” but the ACA isn't mentioned until question 26. In this question they are asked “what would most improve medicine?” Repeal of the ACA is ranked number two. They believe that not doing something that hasn't been done yet will be an improvement over the current state of healthcare. Please explain to me to how this is a rational form of thought.
Posted on July 12 at 5:56 p.m.
In our noble quest to ascertain “good” and “better” we attempt to make it reasonably objective. You don't think life-expectancy accurately reflects the effectiveness of healthcare? The U.S. Ranks 37th in overall healthcare performance (1). When judged against six other industrialized nations, we “rank last on safety and do poorly on several dimensions of quality (2).” Among all industrialized nations, the U.S. Ranks last in preventable deaths and 34th in infant mortality (3). Whether you prefer lies, damn lies, or statistics, take your pick, none are flattering.
As for your statement: “despite our higher smoking and obesity rates, we still have a higher life expectancy than anyone else, when you control for accidents/murder.” Sounds like orc mischief to me. Citation please.
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