Archive for the ‘Health care’ Category

Bullying Awareness Prevention Month…

Monday, October 14th, 2013

…is October.

I do not have all the facts of this next story. It is a sobering story both tragic and a bit of a mystery. Its a tragedy because one of our students in the Duluth Schools took his life this September. It is a mystery because, apparently the School District and the Duluth Police are investigating the details and one or the other have requested the grieving family to make no statements. It would be easy for me to criticize the District and it has apparently had the affect of angering the family.

I first heard about the death a month ago at our church’s worship service. A boy had taken his life and acquaintances asked for prayers for the family. It was a surprise to me as I’d heard no news of the death in the local press. This could have been for good reason. There are often copy cat suicides, in fact, a few years ago three Duluth students took their lives in quick succession in something of a domino effect.

I’m not sure how I divined that the death was a suicide but at the Health Forum I made some light of two weeks ago I did mention that a suicide had taken place in one of our schools. I couldn’t say that overcrowded classrooms were to blame but I did point out that under the crowded situation in our schools it would be much easier for a troubled child to be overlooked by teachers swimming in students.

Then the student’ Aunt wrote a letter published last week by the Reader Weekly. I read it at the time and wondered at the unusual venue for the letter. It wasn’t in the paper of record for Duluth, the Tribune. It was in the alternative publication. I don’t have a copy of the letter at hand but I received an email from a friend of the family who wrote that the powers that be were trying to hush up the story. This may not be an unreasonable request. An investigation is underway and it would be premature to draw conclusions. Evidently the boy wrote a suicide note pointing the blame at another student who was characterized as a bully. The police seized the letter and no more has been heard from anyone about the course of the investigation. This has left a sour taste with the boy’s family.

All I know is that a child has died and the general public is unaware of this. It is ironic that it should have happened days before Bullying Awareness Prevention Month.

I wasn’t kidding about being too clean

Monday, September 9th, 2013

In my August 2nd Not Eudora column I joked that the real reason for our health maladies was not vaccinations but too much hygiene or cleanliness……..only I wasn’t really joking.

Take a listen to this NPR report on the microbes that make us more of an ecosystem than a stand alone critter. If you’ve heard people are suffering from more allergies and obesity this could be the explanation. And don’t even get me started on hookworms.

Re: illions

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Germophobes do not read or listen. From NPR

High School Football fini?

Friday, July 12th, 2013

I want one of these for every high school football player in the state of Minnesota.

I’d rather be sending my son to grad school than to sport’s therapists to cure his drooling.

Demographics #1

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I’d heard recently that American women’s longevity, which for so long exceeded men, was beginning to wane and men were catching up.

That is what this map suggests.

I found it on the Daily Dish with some interesting analysis.

What I noticed about the map is that the locals where women’s longevity is taking the greatest hit also seem to be the rural Red States that have been voting Republican. This raises lots of cause and affect questions for me.

How the GOP’s private enterprise health care costs stack up against the world’s socialist models.

Friday, March 29th, 2013

There are 20 more graphs here that compare other medical costs. They are all just as bad or worse.

Death in the modern world

Monday, March 25th, 2013

I spent a long time looking at this graph. Its seems to suggest that war has become a less likely cause of death in today’s world. If so it might be the result of the world’s citizens getting more education or becoming more invested in a middle class way of life.

I found it on Sully.

I’d like to think so. I finished reading The Book Thief a week ago when I first started this post. Its a thoughtful and engrossing muse by Death on the state of humanity as he saw in Germany during World War II.

At the same time a story appeared in the news of bodies being found in a Syrian Drainage Canal dumped their by their murderers but exposed as the canal ran dry. Death’s work is not yet finished.

He was also busy in the early years of the settlement of the English settlement of the North American colonies according to the history in The Barbarous Years.

I’m sure that death will never get a break. Perhaps after war finally crawls back behind the ploughshare Death will start picking up our spirits following the outbreak of a some pandemic spawned by the stockyards of the world which seem to be engineering killer bacteria that are immune to our dwindling supply of new antibiotics.

Two workers on staff in my Mom’s wing

Friday, January 25th, 2013

I went to sing to my Mother this morning. I took a bunch of new songs including one I just found that she used to sing to me.

Playmate. These are the words:

Say, say, oh playmate,
Come out and play with me
And bring your dollies three
Climb up my apple tree

Shout down my rain barrel
Slide down my cellar door
And we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more more more more more

Say, say, oh playmate
I cannot play with you
My dolly’s got the flu
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo

Ain’t got no rain barrel
Ain’t got no cellar door
But we’ll be jolly friends
Forever more

I had a jolly time too. But when I left the staffer who had to prepare Mother to go to lunch looked especially haggard. I asked her why and she explained that there were now only two people working on my Mother’s ward of broken down seniors. I asked her how many there had been and she said three and occasionally four. Budget cuts.

Republicans! Remember with all your life is sacred rhetoric that if its so sacred you ought to be prepared to treat it that way with higher taxes. Democrats! Remember soon we baby boomers will swell senior care facilities and drain every last dollar from the next generation if you are too giving.

Watching Minnesota’s odd but reasonalbe Governor Dayton I’m reassured that some Democrats are picking up on the value of balance. He just cut funding for the wildly superfluous extension of the Northstar Train to Duluth.

Sorry Ken B. but good luck on your competitive dancing.

Friday, June 29th, 2012

“A government with the power to force us to buy health insurance can also force restaurants to serve black people.” From Bruce Bartlet’s Facebook Page (apparently)

I suspect the former Geo W Bush economic advisor turned critic is being ironic.

Why Obamacare won on a technicality….

Friday, June 29th, 2012

…called a majority:

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional,”
Senator Rand Paul.

Bill Gates has one smart wife

Monday, May 14th, 2012

From the Daily Beast:

Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family-planning programs can be defused. Right now, she points out, 100,000 women annually die in childbirth after unintended pregnancies. Six hundred thousand babies born to women who didn’t want to be pregnant die in the first month of life. “She is somebody who really sees this as a public-health necessity,” says Melanne Verveer, the United States ambassador at large for global women’s issues. “I think she believes, and I hope she is right, that people of different political persuasions can come together on this issue.”

This is one of the Reasons the RINOs were hounded out of the GOP

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

To prevent them, our Senator David Durenberger and a host of others included, from introducing a law like the one President Obama got passed.

They will pass laws forcing a woman to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound scan but they’ll let her child die without insurance after it is born. I guess that’s their idea of God’s will.

Pretty soon we’ll find out if the Supreme Court…

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

…is going to join the President in destroying the Constitution when they rule on Mitt Romney’s brainchild of mandated health insurance payments:

Wish I had this guy’s professional sound system……of course, it wouldn’t do anything for my voice.

This Republican proposal sounds a little like gang rape

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Virginia Republicans know a good cause deserving of becomeing law:

Virginia House has passed a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. In many cases (most, in fact) that would mean having what’s called a “transvaginal ultrasound,” in which a probe is inserted into a pregnant woman’s vagina to get the necessary image. This may just seem like an attempt to punish women who choose to have an abortion and a way to make the procedure even less attractive than it already is—and there may be some element of that involved—but there is a medical reason for the transvaginal ultrasound, at least, if an ultrasound is required by law. Most abortions are conducted at a period during pregnancy when the fetus may be too small to be properly seen with the “jelly-on-the-belly” ultrasound.

The GOP’s business…

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

…is not a lady’s business. Apparently:

This morning, Democrats tore into House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for preventing women from testifying before a hearing examining the Obama administration’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to their employees.

Some of these old misogynists ought to be paying more attention to their base in Mississippi.

Sweet Poison

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

My Buddy sends me this indictment of sugar

The background is well-known: In the United States, more than two-thirds of the population is overweight, and half of them are obese. About 80 percent of those who are obese will have diabetes or metabolic disorders and will have shortened lives, according to the UCSF authors of the commentary, led by Robert Lustig. And about 75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars are spent on diet-related diseases, the authors said.

perhaps in response to this post.

I will add that while I was on the School Board I discovered that all our our secondary principals were addicted to the money from the vending machines that provided lots of sugary goodies to our students.

Don’t read this post’s link unless you have a strong stomach and…

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

…a scientifically curious mind.

Here’s a hint on what’s at the other end of this link. A number of years ago I was grossed out by a chimpanzee at a zoo. This chimp casually stuck his/her finger into another Chimp’s nose and sucked the retrieved prize off his/her finger afterwards. Could there be a biological advantage for having done this? That’s what the link discusses.

In a related hint. When I was a kid I used to watch a sort of early reality program called Bold Journeys. It was comprised of expensive home movies taken by mostly American world travelers as they ventured into regions then far removed from the “civilized” world. In one movie a circle of Amazonian women were sitting around a large earthenware pot as they chewed leaves. Every so often they took turns spitting into the pot. The narrator explained that much like setting sour dough bread out in the air to catch wild yeast to enable it to rise these women were creating a juice which would use their saliva to ferment the jar’s contents thereby creating an alcoholic beverage which the entire village could enjoy.

Fifty years later I’m still recovering from that information.

No wonder he’s going nowhere in the GOP field

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Republican Presidential candidate New Mexico governor Gary Johnson defending “federalism” and one particular small business.

“We have a drug war along the border that has taken tens of thousands of lives, and the federal government is spending its time and resources declaring war on small businesses whose only ‘crime’ is trying to dispense medical relief in a regulated, taxed, and legal manner. If there is a conflict between state law and federal law, maybe it’s time for the feds to just admit that their law is just wrong, and let the states decide for themselves how they want to handle the issue of medical marijuana,”

“The answer was ‘no’.”

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

And on the subject of Republicans running for National office my buddy rightly points out that in my video clip of the Tea Party Debate Dr. Ron Paul answered “no” as the audience lustily cheered for the death “yes” of the hypothetical 30 year old who used his liberty to avoid paying for health insurance.

And the answer was “no”. However, your allusion to foolishness, reminds me of bigotry. See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot.

I wasn’t really intending to highlight the “no” of Ron Paul. Mine was more a rhetorical question and it was aimed more at the Tea Party who cheered the theoretical death so lustily. Most of the GOP candidates were to some extent pandering to their audience for applause or to avoid boos.

In fact, Congressman Paul deserves credit with sticking to his guns even in the face of boos on all issues. Even so Ron Paul’s answer to Wolf Blitzer’s question deserves comment.

So, after giving the audience a ringing defense of libertarianism and our right to make dumb, shortsighted and foolish decisions at the expense of the larger community’s interest when asked: should we just let an uninsured man die, Dr. Paul softly lets his hippocratic oath kick in – “no.” We shouldn’t let the young fool die.

OK Then! What the hell are we supposed to do Dr. Paul? We can’t force the young fool to buy insurance. We can’t force the young fool to pay taxes on federal guaranteed insurance. We are supposed to let him gamble that he won’t get sick and then we will have to make sure he doesn’t die! How, Dr. Paul? Force taxpayers to pay for his emergency room visits? Force Doctors and hospitals to take the hit and pay for the treatment the young fool wrongly gambled he wouldn’t need?

Dr. Paul, honorable and honest man that you are, what do you propose? Doing the same ineffective thing we’ve been doing for decades only less of it? Dr. Paul that “no” may have been an honest answer. It may have been a decent answer. It was not a good answer. For you it was a very bad answer and that means it was a very bad answer for America.

So there, Buddy. That’s my bigoted explanation.

“Are you saying society should just let him die?”

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Only a fool would trust these people with Social Security and Medicare. From last night’s Tea Party Presidential Debate: