We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
His health care plan at least temporarily stymied in Congress, President Obama announced today that he would mount a 27-city tour to promote his new nutrition reform program, dubbed America’s Affordable Grocery Choices Act.
Guidance Counselor in Chief: The O wants everybody to go to college. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Woops, I almost forgot. It's not dumb: cheap money for college is political payback to academia.
Could Obama have been elected president without promising not to raise taxes on the middle class? Would Americans have trusted him with the highest office in the land if he had proposed replacing all private health insurance with a Euro-style, socialistic, single-payer system?
As Ben Stein put it in his American Spectator diary, "The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust . . . wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith."
How to participate in the government medicine debate. Hewitt
Government medicine: How it becomes a political football. Medicaid in NY: City Journal
The garbage vortex must be where water sinks on the average.
That means surface currents flow in, carrying anything that floats with them. Then the water sinks, leaving whatever it was carrying behind on the surface.
So the garbage island is just a result of taking all the ocean's garbage and putting it in one place, rather than a horrifying example of littering world-wide.
Huge dust bunnies form on the same principle, where air habitually converges and then rises. Proper lint wrapping and disposal is not called for. Just pick them up now and then, if the dust bunny is a problem.
A third nice example is the overpopulation of dogs.
If you round up every stray dog and put them all in one place, you have a dog problem.
If you let them stray and do their stuff, they're wiser dogs and mostly get adopted; only round up problem dogs, not stray dogs, and there's no overpopulation problem.
Round up chipmunks and put them all in a shelter and you'd have a chipmunk overpopulation crisis too.
I read Mike Adams' column and I think he's mostly correct. I have also read on-line a lot about the advanced-planning consultation, including several paragraphs of the bill.
First, the service is not mandatory to the patient. The bill is defining under what conditions the service becomes billable to the all-things-to-all-people national health service. I acknowledge that it's bizarre to have a specific health care procedure defined in the legislation this way, but that's all the legislation does at this point: define the service and its billable elements.
Second, the service described is an appropriate service. My mother and my aunt died of cancer several years ago, each after several months of care. Being adults with foresight, they had advanced directives about what to do when the end was clearly in sight. These directives guided their caregivers and made their ends easier than they might othewise have been.
Second-and-a-half: the paragraphs I read included as much about how to extend life, if that was the wish of the patient or family, as about what procedures to end so that death might come sooner. In other words, a patient with a life-limiting diagnosis (a terminal diagnosis if you prefer the term) can specify a plan to extend life as long as medically feasible. That decision, I quite agree, should lie with the patient and family as much as the decision to end treatments and allow death to follow.
Third, the procedure may not be mandatory to the patient, but it may devolve into something mandatory for the health care team. A chart audit might focus on what percentage of eligible elderly or terminal patients had a documented advanced-planning session. Audits like that would increase pressure on the providers to press the service on patients, whether the patient really wants it done or not.
Last, this kind of counseling could foreseeably degrade into a method to urge some people to forego treatment when they would rather continue it; to accept death before they feel ready to do so. That concern is, I think, valid.
But let's be fair: as I have seen the language published, this is not a euthanasia counseling program.
Let's just extend high school another four years and make it mandatory. A lot of colleges are nothing but glorified remedial high school courses these days anyway, if they even aim that high. That way tax money can go directly to the salaries of the college faculty and the institutions won't have to worry about enticing students to attend. They can also drop all that tiresome business about entrance applications and lawsuits over whether any entrance standards at all can be squared with diversity policies: just let everyone in for free. It'll help with unemployment, too.