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Flight 17

Hmm, so if Flight 17 was hit by an SA-11 missile that disables its target with shrapnel rather than with a concussive explosion, it seems possible that many of the people on the plane would have survived the missile attack and would not have died immediately, but would have lived as the plane fell from the sky and died upon impact with the ground. Yes, cabin depressurization and the resulting lack of oxygen would have rendered the passengers unconscious. But if the oxygen masks deployed properly it’s possible the passengers did not lose consciousness. If the masks did not deploy and the passengers passed out, they may have regained consciousness once the plane descended to thicker air with more oxygen.

The photos of the crash site also seem to suggest that large sections of the fuselage crashed intact and that the plane was not disintegrated by the missile at 33,000 feet as originally reported/suggested by the media. Reports initially said the missile “slammed into the plane”, but now it has come to light an SA-11 missile explodes about a hundred meters in front of or underneath the plane it’s targeting, creating a cloud of small bits of shrapnel that the plane flies into which then disables the plane. The photos also show a large area of scorched earth, suggesting that the fuel in the plane did not ignite from the missile attack but ignited upon impact with the ground. Yet media reports are still saying the fuel exploded in mid-air at the time of the missile intercept. Also, the reports of many of the bodies being found intact on the ground is further evidence that there was not a massive, catastrophic explosion mid-air.

I guess the data recorders will shed light on this all.

Doctors need to change, not patients.

Since it appears that people will continue to use the emergency room for minor health issues even after getting health insurance, doctors and hospitals should adapt to the behavior of the people and not the other way around.

Health care is perhaps the only industry were sellers expect buyers to adapt to them, rather than accept and operate as nearly ever other industry where organizations are always adapting to the needs and preferences of consumers in a ever-changing marketplace.

Expecting people to self-triage, and then charging them a penalty (in either time or money) when they get it wrong is how it works in American healthcare today.

The current system expects the patient to know the difference between whether, for example, they have the common flu or SARS and to choose the proper doctor and facility to match exactly what they have. Is it appendicitis or just bad gas? You better know before you decide where to go to seek relief or you may wind up having to pay out of pocket for a bill five times what it should be.

Prejudice toward women …

Colonial Williamsburg: stop the practice of reenacting witch-hunts and pull the TV commercials advertising them as part of a “romantic vacation”, as both are disrespectful and prejudice toward women.

Watch the TV commercial here.

Sign the petition here!

The practice of reenacting a witch-hunt and depicting it as part of a romantic vacation is horrifically disrespectful of women and to the right to due process in the United States.  The witch-hunts in the US were one of the lowest, darkest, most evil points in US history and they should not be treated in such a glib, humorous manner in reenactments and in TV commercials of such reenactments.  US witch-hunts were often used to torture and kill innocent “hysterical” women who suffered from mental health problems.  They were also undertaken by certain people or groups to perform sanctioned murder against women those people and groups did not like.  There is no positive, silver-lining to witch-hunts in US history and Colonial Williamsburg should stop presenting reenactments of them out of context as a form of entertainment.

If Mississippi offered vacation packages offering the reenacting of lynchings and of shootings of civil rights workers, no one would stand for it.  Similarly, no one should stand for such reenactments of witch-hunts and for advertisements of them.

Women’s rights are hard-fought around the world and in the US.  History shows that they can wither away rather easily.  Women’s rights should be celebrated and secured; attempts to trivialize them should be regarded with disdain and should not be the endeavor of a tourist destination.  Witch-hunts are not things of the past.  Since 2009 there have been witch-hunts in Sub-Saharan Africa, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and India.

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby

While I wish the Supreme Court had ruled the other way in the Hobby Lobby case, the optimist in me (a small one to be sure) feels that all the recent talk of descending down a slippery slope where corporations will refuse to pay for health insurance policies that cover drugs and procedures that they find objectionable on religious grounds is entirely overblown. First of all, slippery slopes are rare if not nonexistent in US politics, law, culture, and business. Second, the Supreme Court merely settled one case in a narrowly defined (i.e. applicable only to the named parties in the suit), it did not change any laws or declare any laws unconstitutional, nor did it strike down the ACA birth control requirement. Third, while it set a precedent that future litigants can cite in future suits, I do not think many companies will be willing to take the time, effort, risk, legal liability, and especially the cost of denying employees drugs and medical procedures when litigation is almost sure to follow. 

Most companies, I optimistically feel, will not choose to go down this road as it is hard enough to remain profitable as a company and all companies seek as few legal headaches as possible. Plus, no company will want the bad PR and its possible effect on the bottom line. The idea that a company will decide to not pay for or allow its health insurance provider to cover blood transfusions, as some are suggesting will happen, seems ludicrous. I don’t think any company will be willing to open itself up to that legal liability, nor do I think any insurance company will do so either. Really, I don’t think a health insurance company would ever consider creating a health plan that doesn’t cover blood transfusions, which are usually essential and life-saving, due to the legal liability and bad PR it would pose. I bet (and hope) that if asked to do so by a company, the health insurance company would refuse. 

While the Supreme Court made a bad call, it seems unlikely it will bring on the extreme situations some are predicting. And even if a handful of companies decide to try their luck in court, that will hardly be a slippery slope and they outcome of such cases would be nowhere near assured.

HOBBY LOBBY

Every single Supreme Court justice failed to mention the most glaring and egregious miscarriage of justice in the entire Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case: Hobby Lobby’s stupid-ass name.
 

Oh the (lack of) Humanity!

Are the people that feel that Sgt. Bergdahl should be tried and convicted of desertion really suggesting that after he spent five years as a POW in a Taliban prison (more like a steel box than any concept of a modern prison that you and I might conceive) he should then be thrown into a US military prison? Try & convict for desertion if you must, then sentence him to “time served”. Please remember he is still a US citizen and a human being, not a political football or a piece of trash.

Also: if he did go AWOL, remember he was 23 at the time. He made a bad decision then, he’s neither the first nor the last 23 year old to do so. These days we feel the human brain isn’t fully mature until age 25, with the part involved in decision making being the last to develop.

#GetMoneyOut

It’s going to take a lot of money to get the money out of politics.

 

#GetMoneyOut

In a game of Billionaire vs. Billionaire, you and I are either collateral damage or completely ignored.  #GetMoneyOut

 

Ill Hospitals

Is there something fundamentally wrong with US hospitals?

First, a report comes out that US hospital prices are arbitrary and confoundingly high, then it’s discovered VA hospitals have confoundingly high wait times. In regards to prices, hospitals tend to play a shell-game and stick it to the working poor and lower middle class much like the mortgage industry did not long ago. That’s unethical of hospitals. Not only did the VA hospitals fail to meet demand, they lied about it and covered it up. Also unethical and probably illegal.

I feel it’s not off the mark to say that we need to take a close look at how hospitals are run, managed, financed, and how they pay salaries and bonuses to employees and administrators, as something seems to have gone awry in the mission hospitals have to provide healthcare to patients in an ethical manner.

Where are these hospital’s ethics and sense of purpose? Are they only concerned about money these days? Are they simply lazy? Why do they feel they aren’t accountable?

Maybe hospitals and hospital systems need to be decentralized? The idea of combining hospitals into hospital groups was to take advantage of economies of scale to lower costs. That didn’t happen. Maybe instead of having a handful of high-rise hospitals in a city or region, there should be dozens of much smaller hospitals in the same area that would be forced to compete with one another? Maybe a smaller scale would force these hospitals to be more patient-centric and to be more concerned with quality of care rather than quantity? You know, operating more in a boutique manner than in a factory manner? Perhaps a Walmart, box-store concept to hospital care simply doesn’t work? Perhaps the doctor-patient relationship needs to occur in a more intimate setting? It would seem that hospital epidemics of MERS, staph, and pneumonia could be reduced with more and smaller hospitals in a given area. The consolidated, centralized, high-rise concept did not work for public housing, perhaps it simply cannot work for hospitals as well?

So then have hospitals hit the too-big-to-fail wall?? You know that wall that financial institutions hit when they became so big and powerful and their staff so well-paid that they totally lost their focus of their position in society and in their core mission of what they provided to their clients? Maybe there’s some kind of sociological law about the size of an institution: that at a certain point an institution becomes so large that it loses its way and becomes disconnected, that staff members get stuck in a small-cog-in-a-large-machine syndrome where everyone loses sight of the mission and assumes somebody else has their eye on and is responsible for the big picture?

Voter Fraud

I’m rethinking my views on requiring voters to have a driver’s license as ID to vote. Not only do I now feel it should be required, but I feel only those with a motorcycle endorsement should be allowed to vote.

And I just heard that in Mississippi there’s a bill pending requiring voters to not only have a driver’s license, but that the license must be a CDL Class A “Big Rig” license. Well played MS!

Only letting bikers and truckers vote will get the money out of politics. And potholes will be a thing of the past.

Win-win, done & done.

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