body~politic

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Britain’s Liverpool Pathway We Get A Preview Of Obmacare And Hell | RedState

In Britain’s Liverpool Pathway We Get A Preview Of Obmacare And Hell | RedState

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
Hubert H. Humphrey
It isn’t often that I open a story with a quote from a liberal but, as a Catholic, I have a great deal of affinity for Hubert Humphrey. As you read this you’ll see just how far the modern left has strayed from the liberalism of FDR, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson.
Let’s stipulate in the beginning that modern medicine is a business. You don’t have a kindly doctor showing up at your home at 2am to treat a sick child and accept labor or chickens in return. Our hospitals are run by hard edged MBAs. Within the profession we’ve exchanged the kind and compassionate Dr. Ben Casey for the arrogant and abusive Dr. Greg House who knows best and your wishes be damned as the operating model.
As the saying goes, the difference between God and a doctor is that God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.
It is well known that about 30% of medical expenditures occur in the last year of life. I view this a tautological dodge because you usually don’t need a lot of medical care until you are near death and as no one knows which is the last year of their life it is a pretty useless metric… unless you can designate with certainty the last year of a patient’s life and then set out to minimize costs during that period.
Enter the Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying patient courtesy of the British National Health Service.
In the first stage of the pathway, the multi-professional team caring for the patient have to agree that all reversible causes for the patient’s conditions have been considered and that the patient is in fact dying. The assessment then makes suggestions for what palliative care options to consider and whether non-essential treatments and medications should be discontinued. However, the pathway is not a “one-way-street” and if no further deterioration of the patient’s condition occurs, pathway-based palliative care is halted and all previous treatments are resumed. This occurs for about 3% of patients put on the pathway. The pathway recommends that the carers assess how well the patient can communicate and talk to their family, to check that they understand what is happening and see if their religious and spiritual needs are being addressed. The carers are also expected to discuss the plan of care with the patient and their family.
The programme provides suggestions for treatments to manage any pain, agitation, respiratory tract secretions, nausea and vomiting, or shortness of breath (dyspnoea) that the patient may experience] Staff are pre-authorised to give such interventions as required without further authorisation, usually by subcutaneous injection, so that symptoms can be addressed as soon as needed, without further delay.
On the surface the Pathway looks like a rational way of dealing with patients at the end of life, when comfort is of more use than medical care and a competent patient is under no obligation to accept extraordinary measures to prolong life. Pope John Paul II, himself, decided to decline heroic methods to extend his life when it became obvious that he would not recover. The operative terms here are “competent” and “accept.”
In practice it is an entirely different set of facts. It is a roach-motel for patients deemed to have a terminal condition. They check in but they don’t check out.
Because the Liverpool Pathway is set up to ration care and minimize costs in that last year of life, there are perverse incentives. Primary among them is to aggressively identify patients who aren’t quite terminal and help them out a bit. As we know, when men start assuming the role of God, very little good comes out of it.
An elderly woman died alone after doctors failed to tell relatives they were ending her life on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.
Olive Goom, 85, passed away with no one by her side after medics neglected to consult with her family about her treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

As Miss Goom lay dying alone, staff reassured relatives on the phone just hours before her death that there was no urgent need to visit – even though doctors had already removed tubes providing vital food and fluids.
Her family discovered that she had died only when her niece went to visit her and found she was already being prepared for the mortuary. They said last night that they will never be able to stop feeling guilty that no one was there in her final hours.
This type of misadventure seems to be much more the norm than anyone would like to believe as the Liverpool Care Pathway has become an assembly line of death rather than a hospice-like terminal care program.
NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.
Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.
He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.
There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent – 130,000 – are of patients who were on the LCP [My emphasis].
Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.
He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.
More tragic is that are those instances in which the patients selected to die really aren’t terminal.
Mrs Fenton, from East Sussex, is still alive and “happy” nine months after doctors declared she would only survive for days, withdrew her antibiotics and denied her artificial feeding, her daughter, Christine Ball, said.

Mrs Fenton was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. Although Mrs Ball acknowledged that her mother was very ill she was “astonished” when a junior doctor told her she was going to be placed on the plan to “make her more comfortable” in her last days.
On Jan 19, Mrs Fenton’s 80th birthday, Mrs Ball said her mother had lost “an awful lot of weight” but was feeling better, and told her she “didn’t want to die”.
But it took another four days to persuade doctors to give her artificial feeding, Miss Ball said.
Mrs Ball said the fight to save her mother had been made harder by the Mental Capacity Act. “I was told that we had no rights, and food and hydration were classed as treatment, which meant they had the right to withhold feeding. It gave a doctor the power to play god with my mother’s life,” she said.
Mrs Fenton is now being looked after in a nursing home near her daughter’s home.
One can only guess at the number of survivable cases there are among the 130,000 Britons currently in a hospital and marked for death.
So this system really sucks. If you are interested there is a grassroots rebellion going oni in Britain against this appalling system check out this website.  But what does it mean here?
Under Obamacare we are on the glidepath to a similar progam being adopted here . For all those who derided Sarah Palin and the “death panels” she was absolutely right. As we delegate more and more responsibility for our medical care to the government, the government will increase its authority over the type and amount of care that we can receive. A system that arguably started out as a humane system in Britain to ease the final days of the terminally ill has devolved into a financially driven program focused on eliminating patients to save money and reduce occupancy rates.
What makes this more unfathomable, and truly accentuates Pope John Paul II’s various sermons against what he termed the Culture of Death, is that the liberal left, that part of our political spectrum which touts itself as compassionate and caring, is the most aggressive in offing those who Hubert Humphrey said were in the dawn and dusk of life: the unborn and the physically infirm. Apparently their interest in those in the shadows only extends to the extent to which they can be inveigled to vote for Democrat politicians.


Disappointed Obama supporter: "Frankly, I'm Exhausted at Defending You".mp4

Ohio doctor running newspaper ads against Obamacare | The Daily Caller

Ohio doctor running newspaper ads against Obamacare | The Daily Caller

Dr Naffah on Obamacare

If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him « Daily Buddhism

If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him « Daily Buddhism



Question:


I have heard the phrase “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!” many times. Can you explain this?


Answer:


It actually comes from an old koan attributed to Zen Master Linji, (the founder of the Rinzai sect). It’s a simple one:


“If you meet the Buddha, kill him.” — Linji
I’m sure you already realize that it’s not being literal. The road, the killing, and even the Buddha are symbolic.


The road is generally taken to mean the path to Enlightenment; that
might be through meditation, study, prayer, or just some aspect of your
way of life. Your life is your ‚Äúroad.‚Äù That’s fairly straightforward
as far as metaphors go.


But how do you meet the Buddha on this “road?” Imagine meeting
some symbolic Buddha. Would he be a great teacher that you might
actually meet and follow in the real world? Could that Buddha be you
yourself, having reached Enlightenment? Or maybe you have some
idealized image of perfection that equates to your concept of the Buddha
or Enlightenment.


Whatever your conception is of the Buddha, it’s WRONG! Now kill that
image and keep practicing. This all has to do with the idea that
reality is an impermanent illusion. If you believe that you have a
correct image of what it means to be Enlightened, then you need to throw
out (kill) that image and keep meditating.


Most people have heard the first chapter of the Tao, “The Tao that
can be named is not the eternal Tao.” (So if you think you see the
real Tao, kill it and move on).



Friday, October 19, 2012

Halo 4 Trailer! - Microsoft E3 2012 Press Conference

Liber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Liber ("the free one"), also known as Liber Pater ("the free Father") was a god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom. He was a patron deity of Rome's plebeians and was part of their Aventine Triad. His festival of Liberalia (March 17) became associated with free speech and the rights attached to coming of age. His cult and functions were increasingly associated with Bacchus and his Greek equivalent Dionysus, whose mythologies he came to share.[1]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We Can't Afford Four More Years Of Skyrocketing Spending

We Can't Afford Four More Years Of Skyrocketing Spending


Location

Boston, MA
United States
“After four years of wasteful spending and record debt, Americans already know what President Obama’s second term will look like. The President’s failed policies have allowed welfare spending to skyrocket. And it’s the middle class that will pay the price, with a crushing debt that will cost middle-class families $4,000 in higher taxes. As president, Mitt Romney will deliver a real recovery to get Americans off of welfare programs and back in good-paying jobs with higher take-home pay.” – Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

Under President Obama, The Nation’s Spending On Federal Welfare Programs Has Skyrocketed:

Under President Obama, The Federal Government’s Expenditures On Welfare Programs Have Expanded From $563,413,000,000 To $745,840,000,000, An Increase Of More Than 32 Percent. (Congressional Research Service, 10/16/12)
  • While Welfare Spending Has Skyrocketed, The Federal Government’s Expenditures On Employment And Training Components Of Welfare Programs Have Only Increased By 3.6 Percent. (Congressional Research Service, 10/16/12)
“Welfare Spending Has Grown Substantially Over The Past Four Years … More Than Social Security, Basic Defense Spending Or Any Other Single Chunk Of The Federal Government…” “Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.” (Stephen Dinan, “Welfare Spending Jumps 32 Percent In Four Years,” The Washington Times, 10/18/12)
The Federal Government’s Expenditures On Food Stamps In The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Doubled From $37,179,000,000 To $74,943,000,000. (Congressional Research Service, 10/16/12)
  • But Expenditures On The Employment And Training Component Of The SNAP Program Have Only Increased From $351,000,000 To $354,000,000 – Less Than 1 Percent. (Congressional Research Service, 10/16/12)
“Most Of The Increase Came From Spending Due To Obama’s Stimulus, The CRS Study States.” “The study, commissioned by Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), included traditional welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Pell grants and 80 other federal programs but excluded veterans assistance programs. Together, the federal government spent $746 billion in 2011 on these programs in 2011, up from $563 billion in 2008. Most of the increase came from spending due to Obama’s stimulus, the CRS study states.” (Erik Wasson, “Study Shows 33 Percent Spending Increase In Federal Poverty Programs,” The Hill, 10/18/12)
The Dramatic Increase In Spending Is Due To Both The Sluggish Economic Recovery And Because Of “Broadened Eligibility” Requirements. “The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.” (Stephen Dinan, “Welfare Spending Jumps 32 Percent In Four Years,” The Washington Times, 10/18/12)

And Now That He’s Gutted The Work Requirements In Welfare, President Obama’s Federal Spending Will Only Skyrocket Faster:

The Obama Administration’s Welfare Changes “Quietly Opened The Door For States To Seek Major Changes” In Work Requirements. “The Obama administration has quietly opened the door for states to seek major changes in how they meet federal welfare-to-work requirements for some of their poorest residents, and leading conservatives are crying foul.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Obama Administration Opens The Door For States To Seek Major Changes In Welfare-To-Work Law,” The Associated Press, 7/13/12)
President Obama “Tossed Out The Clinton-Era Welfare Reform That Required Able-Bodied Aid Recipients To Work.” “Democrats and Republicans alike should be distressed by President Barack Obama's disregard for constitutional limits on his authority. The president's flouting of the separation of powers risks turning this country into something other than a representative democracy. Congress should move in a bipartisan rebuke of Obama's overreach before he neuters that institution. In a blatant challenge to the legislative branch, Obama by executive order tossed out the Clinton-era welfare reform that required able-bodied aid recipients to work, saying the federal government will no longer enforce the law.” (Editorial, “Obama's Power Grab Flouts Constitution,” Detroit News, 8/6/12)
The Wall Street Journal: “The Administration Has, In Fact, Gutted” Work Requirements. “This is the reform that the Administration has, in fact, gutted. There's flexibility to innovate and there's ‘flexibility.’ In the first case, HHS has denied Governors the running room to redesign Medicaid to be more cost effective. But now it tells states that they don't have to comply with the most basic obligation of welfare reform. It's as if HHS told states they can have the ‘flexibility’ not to cover health care for poor people.” (Editorial, “Welfare Reform As We Knew It,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/19/12)

Americans Can’t Afford Four More Years Of Wasteful Spending – The Next Generation And Middle-Class Families Will Pay The Price:

Under President Obama’s Policies, The National Debt Is Projected To Surpass $20 Trillion By The End Of 2016 – An Increase Of More Than $4 Trillion In New Debt. (“Fiscal Year 2013 Mid-Session Review: Budget Of The U.S. Government,” Office Of Management And Budget, 7/27/12)
  • President Obama Has Already Presided Over A National Debt That Has Surpassed A Record $16 Trillion – An Increase Of $5.5 Trillion On His Watch. (US Department Of The Treasury, Accessed 10/15/12)
American Enterprise Institute Has Calculated That The Annual Cost Of President Obama’s Current And Looming Debt Burden Amounts To $4,000 Per Year In Higher Taxes On The Middle Class. “In a new paper, AEI’s Matt Jensen looks at the real annual cost of servicing the debt for households at various levels of income — including a potentially higher tax burden. As the table below illustrates, a household making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year could find its tax liability higher by roughly $2,400 every year. Over ten years, that works out to $24,000. And when you add in the debt already accrued the past four years under President Obama (the second table), that’s another $1,600 a year. So now we are now talking about $4,000 a year, $40,000 over ten years.” (James Pethokoukis, “Study: Obama’s Big Budget Deficits Could Mean A $4,000 A Year Middle-Class Tax Hike,” American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)









Obamacare's Rationing by Another Name - Reason.com

Obamacare's Rationing by Another Name - Reason.com: How the Independent Payment Advisory Board gives sweeping powers to an unelected and unconstitutional board of bureaucrats.

Shikha Dalmia | October 16, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Won "Last Night's" Debate?

Inflation: Washington is blind to Main Street's biggest concern — RT

Inflation: Washington is blind to Main Street's biggest concern — RT

Journalists, politicians and economists all seem to agree that the biggest economic issue currently worrying voters is unemployment. It follows then that most believe that the deciding factor in the presidential race will be the ability of each candidate to convince the public that his policies will create jobs. It seems that everyone got this memo…except the voters.

According to the results of a Fox News poll released last week (a random telephone sample of more than 1,200 registered voters), 41% identified "inflation" as "the biggest economic problem they faced." This is nearly double the 24% that named "unemployment" as their chief concern. For further comparison, 19% identified "taxes" and 7% "the housing market" as their primary concern. A full 44% of women, who often do more of the household shopping and would therefore be more sensitive to prices changes, identified rising prices as their primary concern.

My most recent video blog addresses this topic in detail.

While these statistics do not surprise me, they should shock the hell out of the establishment.  According to the Federal Reserve, inflation is not a concern at all. Time after time, in front of Congress and the press, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that inflation is contained and that it is below the Fed's "mandated" rate of inflation (whatever that may be.) The Bureau of Labor Statistics is saying the same thing. The measures they use to monitor inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), show annual inflation well below 2%. In fact, the GDP price deflator used by the Commerce Department to calculate the second quarter's 1.3% annual growth rate assumed annual inflation was running at just 1.6%.

In fact, Bernanke thinks inflation is so low that he is actually worried about deflation, which he believes is a more dangerous issue. As a result, he is recommending policies that look to raise the inflation rate, not just to combat the phantom menace of deflation but to boost the housing market and reduce unemployment. He mistakenly believes these problems are the ones that concern Americans the most.

If inflation really is as subdued as the government claims, how is it that so many people are concerned? It's not as if the media or political candidates are fanning the fears of rising prices. In fact, given the media's preoccupation with the housing market, the fact that nearly seven times as many Americans worry more about rising food prices than falling home prices shows just how large the inflation problem must be. Yet most economic observers continue to swallow the government's inflation propaganda hook, line and sinker. In fact, although the Fox poll came out last week, I did not read or hear a single story on this topic, even from Fox news itself, which appears to not have noticed the significance of its own data.

For years my critics have always attempted to discredit my inflation fears by pointing to government statistics showing low rates. However, I have long maintained that such statistics under-report inflation, and the results of this poll seem to confirm my suspicion. There are only two possible ways to explain the disconnect. Either the government is correct and consumers are worried about a non-existent problem, or the consumers' concerns are real and the government's statistics are not. From my perspective, it seems that it is far more likely that consumers are in the right. If so, we are in a lot of trouble.

If annual inflation is actually higher than 3%, which would certainly be the case if consumers are so worried about it, then we are already in recession. Had government used a 3% inflation deflator (rather than the 1.6% that they actually used) to calculate 2nd quarter GDP, then growth would have been reported at negative .1% rather than the positive 1.3%. I believe that if the government used more accurate inflation data over the past several years, it is possible that we would have seen no statistical recovery from the recession that began in the fourth quarter of 2007. This would help explain why the "recovery" has failed to create jobs or lift personal incomes. 

The Fed's zero percent interest rate policy is predicated on the assumption that there is currently no inflation. If this is not accurate, then they are making a major policy mistake. The Fed is easing when it should be tightening. If inflation is such a major concern now, imagine how much bigger the problem will become once the Fed achieves its goal of pushing the rate higher. More importantly, how much tighter will future monetary policy have to be to put the inflation genie back in her bottle? If inflation becomes so virulent before the Fed realizes its mistake, then it may be forced to raise interest rates significantly. U.S. national debt is projected to reach $20 trillion within a few years. As a result, a 10% interest rate (which would be needed to combat 1970's style inflation) will require the U.S. government to pay about $2 trillion per year in interest on the national debt. This will absolutely upend all economic projections.

Since 10% interest rates will likely crush the economy, not to mention the banks and the real estate market, tax revenues will plunge and non-interest government expenditures will go through the roof. Assuming we try to borrow the difference, annual budget deficits could go much, much higher from the already ridiculously high levels that they have reached during President Obama's term. Annual deficits of $2 trillion, $3 trillion, or even $4 trillion, would result in a sovereign debt crisis that would force the Federal Government to either default on its obligations or inflate them away. Given the tendency for politicians to prefer the latter, voters who think rising prices are a problem now should just wait until they see what is waiting down the road!



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Harsanyi: Once again, Obama's record wins it for Romney

Harsanyi: Once again, Obama's record wins it for Romney

Voter ID: 71 Percent of Latino Voters Support Legislation Poll Says

Voter ID: 71 Percent of Latino Voters Support Legislation Poll Says

Claude Levi-Strauss - Myth

Claude Levi-Strauss - Myth: Of all the chapters of religious anthropology probably none has tarried to the same extent as studies in the field of mythology. From a theoretical point of view the situation remains very much the same as it was fifty years ago, namely, chaotic. Myths are still widely interpreted in conflicting ways: as collective dreams, as the outcome of a kind of esthetic play, or as the basis of ritual. Mythological figures are considered as personified abstractions, deified heroes, or fallen gods. Whatever the hypothesis, the choice amounts to reducing mythology either to idle play or to a crude kind of philosophic speculation.

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