Category Archives: Politics

Deadly Indifference

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Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and BeyondDeadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond by Michael D. Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At times throughout Deadly Indifference, the information about and the story of Katrina became particularly intriguing, even exciting for me to read. Unfortuneatly, those moments were too few. There was a lot of repetition in this book, specifically the stating over and over again that Mayor Ray Nagin should have called for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. But in this regard, I believe Mr. Brown made his point particularly well. I suspect that if Mayor Nagin had ordered a mandatory evacuation, Michael Brown would not have had a need to write this book. The book starts off a little slow with too many pages spent on the 1951 cold war civil defense film Duck and Cover. Later in the book there is a passage about a toddler that choked on a hot dog and the grieving mother’s crusade against the design of hot dogs, which left me to wonder if the author had earned his fee by the word count. The best chapters are smack in the middle of the book, where the reading is most interesting and the material exciting too. In the end, I finished the book feeling like Katrina was a disaster made worse by politicians making decisions based on their own best interest, and events exaggerated by misinformation peddled by a media where “everyone wanted to be first more than anyone wanted to be accurate.”

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It’s Not Brain Surgery

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Government run health insurance programs often reimburse physicians at rates that are less than the actual cost of treatment and as a result, some physicians are choosing to opt-out of the system. Today, 13% of all physicians no longer accept Medicare and nearly 33% refuse to participate in the Medicaid program.

Ayn Rand wrote about State controlled healthcare in her 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged:

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards—never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

Obamacare was designed to provide universal healthcare coverage, but with one critical oversight; the focus has been almost entirely on the patient, with little or no consideration given to those providing the care.

The United States already faces a growing physician shortage. Can we expect it to get worse?

Effective January 1, 2015, a provision of Obamacare goes into effect that will tie physician payments to patient outcome. Physicians will see their payments modified so that those who provide “higher value care” will receive higher payments while those who provide “lower quality care” will receive lower payments.

Ask yourself, should you ever become extremely sick, what doctor would want to risk their “higher value care” payment to treat you?

Heck of a job, Brownie

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In his first book, former FEMA Director and Guymon native, Michael Brown, tells the story of our government’s response to one of the greatest natural disasters ever to occur in the United States. Without making excuses for anyone, least of all the President of the United States or himself, Mr. Brown describes in detail what ultimately turned out to be the largest federal response to a natural disaster in U.S. history.

“He failed to comprehend the magnitude of the story, the critical timing for evacuation, and the services and personnel that was needed.”

“I had specifically requested that time alone with the ‘Boss,’ as we called him among ourselves, so that I could explain to him, in person, how badly things were going.”

“Thus, when the president, in his usual cheerleading mode, turned to me after being complimented by my friend Governor Riley of Alabama, and publicly pinned his previously private nickname on me along with the ‘heck of a job’ accolade, the video shows me wincing. I had just been telling him how bad things were and what help I needed. Had he been ignoring me?”

When making the now famous comment, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” was President George W. Bush simply being supportive of his embattled FEMA Director, or did the President of the United States fail to fully comprehend the severity of the situation on the ground in New Orleans?

Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond, is available in bookstores beginning Thursday, June 16, 2011.

“The president didn’t get it at first. Not many people did.”

Nowata-31, Pryor-28

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Although this blog headline might sound like it, Nowata did not actually beat Pryor in some sporting event by the score of -31 to -28. These numbers are rather, the record low temperatures in Oklahoma this morning which shattered the Oklahoma Territory all-time record low of -27 first recorded over 100 years ago on February 13, 1905 in Vinita. Wow! That occurred before Oklahoma was even a state. It has only gotten down to 27 below in Oklahoma twice since: once in Watts on January 18, 1930 and then again yesterday, February 9, 2011, in Bartlesville.

You have to feel a little sorry for the poor folks in Pryor. To put up with temperatures colder than ever recorded in Oklahoma Territory history and not even end up setting a state record. At least Bartlesville enjoyed its place of dubious honor while being tied with the state record for one whole day. I should mention that Bartlesville got down to 28 below this morning too, besting there own record from yesterday.

What is going on with all this cold weather? Where is Al Gore when we need him to fly his high carbon emission private jet in the skies above Oklahoma? Here is a note to Al Gore: we WANT global warming!!! Just a little, please!?!

But wait, according to United States Senator James Mountain “Jim” Inhofe of the Great State of Oklahoma, the global warming theory is just a hoax anyway. Given the record cold temperatures lately, I tend to agree with him.

In this morning’s The Oklahoman, there was a page 5 headline reading, “Inhofe argues against warming theory.” That’s right, and Sen. Jim Inhofe has finally finished writing a book that he called “Hoax” in reference to his description of the global warming theory. The story in The Oklahoman by Chris Casteel went on to say –

“You’ll be the first to receive an autographed copy,” Infofe, R-Tulsa, told California Rep. Henry Waxman on Wednesday at a House subcommittee hearing on whether the Environmental Protection Agency should be able to regulate greenhouse gases.

Inhofe 1, Waxman 0.

You certainly do have to appreciate a Senator with a good sense of humor. I am proud he is representing Oklahomans, although a little global warming would be kind of nice, right about now.

In Stitches

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After the Pres took a shellacking on the basketball court this morning the American people may finally get some hope and change we can believe in. We can hope the stitches stay in for a while and thereby silence the TOTUS. That would certainly be a welcome change.

Here’s an idea: What uh-if-uh the-uh Teleprompter-uh Of The-uh United States (TOTUS) uh just let us uh-read his speeches-uh uh-ourselves?

I don’t really think the big O would go for my idea though, because then we’d all find out his secret to being such a-uh good uh-communicator.

Uh, oh well.

Future Snipes

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While dozing on the couch watching television last evening, the lights in my house suddenly flickered and the cable went out briefly. I was a bit groggy when it happened, but what I saw on my TV right after that totally shocked me. It was as if I were transported forward to some time in the future. Thinking I had fallen asleep and was merely dreaming this, I began pinching myself frantically trying to wake up, but I could not wake myself. I remember thinking I wanted to record what was on the TV. I grabbed my cell phone to take a picture of it, but the battery was dead. Then I blacked out. That is the last thing I can remember.

I woke up in my own bed this morning. I must have been extremely tired last night. I do not even remember getting up off the couch and going to bed. I thought about that dream off and on all day long, while at work today. When I got home from work tonight and began to watch the evening news, I was shocked.

“This cannot be happening,” I thought to myself. “I had a weird dream, something about Wesley Snipes, just last night.”

It does not seem fair to me that Wesley Snipes has to go to jail for not paying his taxes, while a sitting US Congressman can get away with it scot-free. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

“Picture,” I mouthed to myself. “That’s it!” I squealed.

Grabbing my cell phone, I hurriedly opened its photo album. I cannot explain the photograph I found, nor do I fully comprehend what happened to me last night. But it happened, and here is the photographic evidence.

You be the Judge.

Stoned

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U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled on Monday that over 70 percent of Oklahoma voters got it wrong when they passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of Sharia Law when making a ruling.

Claiming the law violates his constitutional rights, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) executive director Muneer Awad said, “We are humbled by this opportunity to show our fellow Oklahomans that Muslims are their neighbors and that we are committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and promoting the benefits of a pluralistic society.”

Just trying to be neighborly, huh? Well that sure is nice of you Mr. Adickwad, but pardon me while I trying to hold back my gag reflex.

This really looks to me like CAIR is committed to upholding Sharia Law, not the U.S. Constitution. Could it be more obvious? Maybe Adickwad should have said, “We are committed to upholding Sharia Law and if you try to steel that away from us we’ll have to cut off your hands.”

Judge Vicki ought to be an object lesson for anyone who ever considered voting for a democrat. Vote for a democrat, and this is the kind of judicial activism you can expect from the bench. Barack Hussein Obama considered her as a nominee to the Supreme Court, and probably would again if given the opportunity to make another nomination. Although, I do feel a little sorry for the Judge, as apparently when issuing this injunction against the people of Oklahoma, Miles-LaGrange failed to realize that under Sharia Law [Qur’an 33:5] she could be in big trouble for hyphenating her last name.

Maybe she thought getting stoned meant getting high.

For her, maybe it did?