Category Archives: Uncategorized

Human Life vs Money? In the U.S. Money Wins……….Every Time

Late last month, Carsyn Leigh Davis turned 17 in an intensive care unit bed in Naples, Florida. Two days later, at 1:06 p.m. on June 23, she died at a children’s hospital across the state, in Miami, where she’d been transferred for last-ditch “heroic efforts” at saving her life. She was the latest of 3,281 deaths in the state from Covid-19 at the time; as I write this, less than two weeks later, the toll is now 3,841.”

Medicynical note: Over 130,000 have died, with several hundred more dying each day. Our president is out playing golf or over-ruling his experts. The U.S. is like no other place, ignorance rules and money wins…..

Whoops…..Asleep at the Wheel, Again

Since at least February, and possibly as early as March 2019, the United States has had compelling intelligence that a committed adversary, Russia, paid bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan. American service members were reportedly killed as a result.”

“To this day, the president of the United States has done nothing about it.”

Medicynical note: How do you excuse such incompetence. First you deny that there were ever reports on Russian targeting of U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan. If that fails you maintain that if there were reports all of the responsible parties in government didn’t see them or weren’t briefed on them. And then when it turns out they were printed in presidential briefing materials, you say they were never fully proven……all this while the President promoted Russian interests several times…….over U.S. interests. Is this incompetence, Or treason?

Trump’s Pre-existing Illness NON-PROMISE

“The Trump administration touched off another politically charged battle over the future of Obamacare with its latest maneuver to dismantle the law amid a pandemic — a move that Democrats immediately weaponized for competitive campaigns this fall and few Republicans defended.”

“The 82-page brief filed late Thursday to the Supreme Court in a high-profile case brought by GOP state attorneys general undercuts President Trump’s repeated pledges to ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions as his administration and the broader Republican Party seek to wipe away that protection.”

“Trump vowed as recently as last weekend, at a campaign rally in Tulsa, that he would “always protect patients with preexisting conditions, always, always.” But his own administration’s position in court is that the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and therefore so is the entire law — even its most popular provisions, such as coverage for those with preexisting conditions.”

Medicynical Note:  And now the fine print on Trump’s pre-existing illness non-guarantee. 

Trump’s promise to protect patients with pre-existing illnesses does not guarantee affordable pricing.  Insurers can and will charge people with pre-existing problems more, much much more. 

And if the patient can’t afford the insurers price for coverage,  republicans then usually propose to put them into high risk pools and charge for subsidized insurance based on income (an ability to pay test).  The problems with such pools is that they are underfunded (run out of funds to pay for care) and still too expensive for most people to afford.

The president’s promise also does nothing to limit deductibles and co-pays for people with pre-existing illnesses.  And these extra charges can also be based on  income and assets. 

Remember Trump is a health care ignoramus.  He knows nothing about health insurance or funding it.  He really can’t be bothered with details and has no understanding that health insurers  have primary fiduciary responsibility to stock holders not patients.  They really have limited to no interest in caring for very sick people. 

It’s a fact that Medicare was first established for that very reason.  Insurers didn’t want to provide coverage for the elderly, after all they might be sick.  As a group they have too many pre-existing illnesses. 

Maybe in a more rational time we’ll come to conclude that Medicare type insurance makes the most sense for everyone in the only industrialized country in the world which has no national health care scheme.  Maybe, who knows?  VOTE

Lie…..about everything……Trump’s America

Trump’s election strategy relies on non-stop, repetitive, redundant, obvious, grotesque, blatant lying. It worked before, why stop now.

“Mike Pence is the guy you’d want in your foxhole. You might be out of ammo, bleeding profusely and about to be run over by a tank, but the hard-praying vice-president would assure you that total victory is assured and it will all be over by Christmas.”

“The Baghdad Bob of Washington was on top form on Friday, reassuring an anguished nation that up is down, square is round and an all-time high of daily coronavirus infections is proof positive that America has flattened the curve.”

Medicynical note: States that took few if any precautions and then prematurely stopped even doing the minimum are dealing with the massive spread of the COVID-19 infections. Their patients with serious infections are increasing dramatically increasing hospital ICU use to capacity.

Yet Pence is unimpressed. In his Pence/Trumpian dream-like narcotized state he calls the explosions of ICU cases a statistical anomaly from increased testing. As death rates increase, despite better treatments, he makes the argument that Trump has handled the epidemic……you guessed it,…….purrfectly.

The nearly 130,000 dead, are piously prayed for and “honored,” with little regard for the thousands more coming. We’re in a Twilight Zone of sorts where more illness and deaths are good signs and precautions and prevention are signs of weakness. That’s the Trump/Pence delusion.

Each day another insult to our intelligence.

The Republicans’ Empty Promises

“In 1980 the federal deficit was soaring and Ronald Reagan campaigned on a singular promise: He planned to cut taxes on everyone, but especially the rich. He insisted that those benefits would quickly trickle down to everyone and supercharge the economy. Throw in some social safety net cuts, Republicans said, and the whole plan would pay for itself.

“They were wrong. The rich got lower taxes all right, but the economy flatlined and the deficit skyrocketed. I should know: I graduated from college the same summer the tax cut passed, and I spent the next three years managing a Radio Shack waiting for the economy to get back on its feet. In 1982 Reagan was forced to raise taxes to make up for his cuts, and he continued raising them throughout his presidency.

Medicynical note: Trump’s dead end. If re-elected it will only get worse. We can expect cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. We can expect millions more uninsured with the demise of the Affordable Care Act. And so on. We’ve become an autocracy with wealthy supporters buying their way into government contracts. A corruptocracy…….Trumpism. Vote.

America’s Decline……personified

before 2016, no one could have conjured up President Donald Trump as anything but a joke — and yet in some sense, all too imaginable. Think of it this way: the president who launched his candidacy by descending a Trump Tower escalator to denounceMexican “rapists” and hype the “great, great wall” he would build, the man who, in his election campaign, promised to put a “big, fat, beautiful wall” across our southern border to keep out immigrants (“invaders!”) — my grandpa, by the way, was just such an invader — has, after nearly three and a half years, succeeded only in getting a grotesquely small wall built around the White House; in other words, he’s turned the “people’s house” into a micro-Green Zone in a Washington that, as it filled with National Guard troops and unidentified but militarized police types, was transformed into a Trumpian version of occupied Baghdad. Then he locked himself inside (except for that one block walk to a church through streets forcibly emptied of protesters). All in all, a single redolent phrase from our recent past comes to mind: mission accomplished!”

Medicynical note: America’s decline as a democracy is obvious. Instead of rejoicing in the participation of everyone, politicos scheme to manipulate and disenfranchise. Our civil discourse is punctuated by the staccato bursts from weapons that some think symbolic of being “free” rather than the reality of being tools of intimidation, suppression and violence.

The symbols that differentiated our culture and frankly made it seem great are being eroded. Our businesses say they want fair competition, but most strive, often by scamming, for monopoly status.

Unlimited money in politics is used to openly bribe for favors and buy elections. Public education is being subverted. Scammers are setting the rules for government agencies. Conflicts of interest are fed and nurtured rather than controlled.

Racism, homophobia and white supremacy are on the rise. Our president uses them as wedges to create hatred and loathing. We fear immigrants. A little ironic in that all of us, except native Americans, have immigration stories in our family history.

Separation of church from state is now thought by some a negative when in reality it previously protected us from false divisions and magical thinking. We disregard science and only consider short term profit rather than long term ramifications. Religion is being subverted, or perhaps was always a mechanism of fostering divisions based on differing beliefs. We can’t seem to get past mine is better than yours.

You get the idea. We are in denial of what once made us a dynamic great society……….but the stark reality is that we are not who we thought we were.

240 years later America Can’t get The Vote Counted

Before Georgia’s embattled election officials can fix a voting system that suffered a spectacular collapse, leading to absentee ballots that never got delivered and hourslong waits at polling sites on Tuesday, they must first figure out who is responsible.”

“As multiple investigations begin into what went wrong, and as Democrats accuse the state’s Republicans of voter suppression, a picture emerged Wednesday of a systematic breakdown that both revealed general incompetence and highlighted some of the thorny and specific challenges that the coronavirus pandemic may pose to elections officials nationwide.”

Medicynical note: The Supreme Court’s abandonment of the voting rights act in 2014 after 49 years of fair elections, opened the door to political suppression of minority voters in the south. This carefully planned persecution combined with the staggering incompetence of the voting bureaucracy in southern states have affected election outcomes and undermined confidence in this key process in a democracy.

I previously observed such corruption and incompetence only in third world countries. Once the envy of the world our democracy and system of elections has become politicized and manipulated. The Supreme Court and those who are suppressing the vote bear responsibility.

The Trump/Putin Administration Strikes Again

Mr. Trump appears to believe he is punishing Ms. Merkel by removing forces that nominally defend Germany. The sycophant whom the president installed as ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has been arguing publicly that Germany doesn’t merit U.S. bases when it fails to meet NATO defense spending guidelines. What he and the president fail to understand is that the 34,500 U.S. personnel in Germany — down from 235,000 during the Cold War — primarily bolster U.S. defense. The Ramstein Air Base is vital to operations in the Middle East and Africa, and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center provides critical care to wounded American soldiers medevaced from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Medicynical note: Amazing lack of consultation before a move that compromises NATO’s and our own defense needs. The Trump years will be remembered for its abject cluelessness…

Immaculate Intervention

“I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,” Barr told the Associated Press. “I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’ ”

“The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Barr personally ordered the crowd of protesters be pushed back as part of a plan hatched far earlier in the day. According to a Justice Department official, law enforcement authorities, including Barr, had decided to extend the security perimeter outside the White House after earlier demonstrations over the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minneapolis turned violent. When Barr came to the scene Monday afternoon, the official said, he was “surprised” to see that hadn’t been done.”

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Medicynical Note:  It would be novel if someone took responsibility in this administration.  It was an immaculate intervention–no one was responsible. 

Guns: America’s Disease

Part of this podcast is on the topic of guns.

The presence of guns, the ubiquity of guns, the threat of gun violence, the often rational fear of guns is the underpinning for so much of the police initiated violence. We see, for instance, police have almost total immunity when it comes to killing in the line of duty. Any fear or suspicion, they claim, almost always deemed a reasonable fear or suspicion because of guns in Louisville. Early this morning, a citizen was killed by police who said they thought they were fired upon. And who’s to say they weren’t? I mean, this isn’t the UK. This isn’t in Japan. It’s plausible that in Louisville, Kentucky, the police were fired upon after coming on a gathering, maybe a demonstration, and now a restaurant owner is dead.”

Medicynical note: As we descend into chaos let’s recognize the contribution of the Supreme Court originalists who think all guns are good guns, our paralyzed congress, and our executive branch that issues executive orders designed to undermine 90 years of unparalleled prosperity and progress.

Guns, from where I sit at 79 years of age, are a net negative in our culture. Name the positives? The pleasure of hunting–not for me but I can understand the culture. Competitive sport shooting……maybe, get your testosterone hit target shooting where you can. Defense of the home–over-rated. IMHO the risks from having guns in our homes seem as great or greater than the criminal risk. Balance those “good” aspects against the negatives. Fear of guns leading to irrational arming of the culture; unfettered access leading to all manner of mass shootings; the thousands of suicides each year from weapons: the thousands of murders in the course of criminal events; the valid fear of our police at every traffic stop and other criminal investigation leading to inadvertent and at time murderous shootings of innocents.

The US leads the industrialized world in every category of gun misadventure. Guns wide and unfettered presence in our culture distorts our lives, threatens our culture and soils our image both here and abroad.