Community For Better Health Care

Vol XII, No 1, April, 2013

In This Issue:

  1. Featured Article: The Ludwig von Mises Institute

  2. In the News: Europeans appear to be more closely related than previously thought.

  3. International News: We have entered the age of the individual capitalist

  4. Medicare: A Framework for Medicare Reform

  5. Medical Gluttony: Obama Administration: Largest Tax Hike since WWII

  6. Medical Myths: Universal Intimacy

  7. Overheard in the Church: Absolute Sincerity

  8. Voices of Medicine: Whistleblowers attempt to change the culture of federal agencies

  9. Cinematic OpEd: "Breaking Bad": Character is Fate

  10. Hippocrates & His Kin: A Common Ancestry; A New Way to Stop Smoking.

  11. Restoring Accountability in Medicine, Government and Society

  12. Words of Wisdom, Recent Postings, In Memoriam, Today in History . . .

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The Annual World Health Care Congress

In April, the most forward-thinking health insurance, employer, hospital and health system executives and top health care thought leaders will come together to discuss transformative trends such as consolidation, transparency , quality metrics, engagement and procedural costs, payment model innovations.

Mention promo Code QPH357 and Save $300 off of the registration fee. Please take a moment to download the printable agenda (PDF)

As the national leadership forum to transform health care costs and quality, the 11th Annual World Health Care Congress drills down to find solutions to the challenges and issues facing health care executives in an unprecedented, peer-driven forum of open discussion and debate. 

SEVEN dedicated, educational Summits provide focused presentations, along with interactive discussion on emerging trends and solutions. Join many organizations already sending their executive teams to cover all seven summits that include:

These Summits take place April 7-9, 2014, at the 11th Annual World Health Care Congress (WHCC) in National Harbor, Maryland – the only health care meeting that simultaneously convenes all stakeholders to share global strategies and offers targeted summits focused on each health care sector. Please take a moment to download the printable agenda (PDF)

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  1. Featured Article: The Ludwig von Mises Institute

A Special Message from Lew Rockwell

April 15th is a horrible day, because it sums up all the wealth destruction called taxation that we are subjected to all year long.

As Murray Rothbard pointed out, taxation is the worst method of looting us. Inflation is destructive, of course, and it might make a loaf of bread cost $10. But at least you get a loaf of bread. With taxation, you get nothing—except theft and other violations of our civil liberties.

Society, as Mises noted, is divided into two competing classes by interventionist government: the taxpayers and the tax consumers. If you are a payer, you are automatically demonized as greedy. On the other hand, those who want the fruits of your labor involuntarily transferred to themselves and their favored pressure groups are the compassionate.

At the Mises Institute, we have a different view. You have a right to what you earn, and those who use the threat and reality of government violence to take it from you are muggers in expensive suits. As Murray said, the State is just a Gang of Thieves writ large. Read More . . .

The politicians blab about spending cuts, but it is all lying propaganda. They plan to increase spending, but use the specter of alleged spending cuts as another excuse to pick your pocket with more taxes. (Spending cuts? Please throw us in that briar patch, Br’er Government.)

Then there are the attacks on tax “loopholes,” when you are allowed to keep some of your own money. As Mises said, it is through these loopholes that capitalism breathes.

But centuries of pro-tax indoctrination has had its effect. Eighty percent of people, according to a Pew study, think it’s immoral to “underreport” one’s income. It’s as if the politicians own us, but generously let us keep some of our own earnings.

That Pew survey does provide one ray of hope: more and more young people dissent from the morality of coercive taxation. We saw the anti-tax passion of the Ron Paul movement, and we see it at the Mises Institute.

It’s true, more and more young people reject the notion of taxation. They want lower taxes. Most of all, they want no taxes. They think they should be able to keep their own earnings.

With our publications, classes, website, and conferences, we are reaching these young people about taxes and the rest of government.

The young don’t want to be sheared. And they are looking for the freedom answers, for example that private property should be inviolate, for moral and economic reasons. They understand, as did 16th-century economist Juan de Mariana, that the only free country is one where no one is afraid of the tax collector.

The Mises Institute is rallying the young to our ideas on taxes and everything else. Please help us, in the shadow of April 15th, continue to do so, and to step it up.

PS: Needless to say, the Mises Institute does not accept one zinc penny of government funding. We depend on generous supporters like you to make our ideas widely available. Won’t you help?

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  1. In the News: Europeans appear to be more closely related than previously thought.

Europeans had common ancestors 1,000 years ago

By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press, BERLIN

Scientists who compared DNA samples from people in different parts of the continent found that most had common ancestors living just 1,000 years ago.

The results confirm decade-old mathematical models, but will nevertheless come as a surprise to Europeans accustomed to thinking of ancient nations composed of distinct ethnic groups like "Germans," "Irish" or "Serbs."

"What's remarkable about this is how closely everyone is related to each other," said Graham Coop of the University of California, Davis, who co-wrote the study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Biology.

Coop and his fellow author Peter Ralph of the University of Southern California used a database containing more than 2,250 genetic samples to look for shared DNA segments that would point to distant shared relatives. Read more . . .

While the number of common genetic ancestors is greater the closer people are to each other, even individuals living 2,000 miles (3,220 kilometers) apart had identical sections of DNA that can be traced back roughly to the Middle Ages.

The findings indicate that there was a steady flow of genetic material between countries as far apart as Turkey and Britain, or Poland and Portugal, even after the great population movements of the first millennium A.D. such as the Saxon and Viking invasions of Britain, and the westward drive of the Huns and Slavic peoples.

The study did find subtle regional variations. For reasons still unclear, Italians and Spaniards appear to be less closely related than most Europeans to people elsewhere on the continent.

"The analysis is pretty convincing. It comes partly from the enormous number of ancestors each one of us have," said Mark A. Jobling, a professor of genetics at the University of Leicester, England, who wasn't involved in the study.

Since the number of ancestors each person has roughly doubles with each generation, "we don't have to go too far back to find someone who features in all of our family trees," he said.

Jobling cited a scientific paper published in 2004 that went so far as to predict that every person on the planet shares ancestors who lived just 4,000 years ago. . .

"Although, as the authors note, the approach is inherently 'noisy' (i.e. error-prone), it still does give results for European populations that are in reasonable agreement with historical expectations," said Mark Stoneking, a professor evolutionary anthropology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, who also wasn't involved in the study. "It would be interesting to see this applied in situations where we don't have such good historical information."

Coop and Ralph said the findings might change the way Europeans think about their neighbors on a continent that has had its fair share of struggle and strife.

"The basic idea that we're all related much more recently than one might think has been around for a while, but it is not widely appreciated, and still quite surprising to many people, even scientists working in population genetics, including ourselves," they said in an email to The Associated Press. "The fact that we share all our ancestors from a time period where we recognize various ethnic identities also points at how we are like a family - we have our differences, but are all closely related."

Just don't expect news of closer family ties to prompt a surge of brotherly love in Europe or elsewhere.

"There have been many studies that we've been involved in showing that groups which are fighting each other furiously all the time are actually extremely closely genetically related. But that's never had any impact on whether they continue to fight each other," Jobling said.

"So for example Jewish and non-Jewish populations in the Middle East are extremely similar genetically, but to tell them they are genetic close relatives isn't going to change their ways."

Read more here:

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  1. International News: We have entered the age of the individual capitalist

Capitalism Can Be Responsible

By Julie Meyer, Editor, Entrepreneurial Country

The phrase “responsible capitalism” is never going to set the world on fire. Movies will not be made about it, and MBA graduates may sneer. And yet, businesses that are built responsibly, particularly small and medium-sized companies, are destined to succeed.

Against a backdrop of sluggish economic growth on either side of the Atlantic, small businesses and entrepreneurs have created a disproportionate share of new jobs. You would be hard pressed to find bright young sparks under 30 who would not rather work for themselves. Read more . . .

The digital world has enabled authors, artists and kitchen-table entrepreneurs to punch above their weight, and grab a share of revenue in transactions without needing the expensive infrastructure of a big company. Responsible companies are being created by individuals every day of the week.

We have entered the age of the individual capitalist, the natural entrepreneur working hand-in-hand with big business. The UK’s most successful small and medium-sized enterprises are defined by key relationships with large companies that provide access to the mainstream markets.

Ultimately, entrepreneurs have responsibilities – to shareholders, employees and customers – to ensure the integrity of their relationships with their corporate partners.

Accountability happens at the individual level, and the fluid nature of business relationships introduced by the internet enables people to act responsibly more easily than ever before. Today there is no trade-off: doing business responsibly is actually good business.

This article originally appeared in The Financial Times

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Canadian Medicare does not give timely access to healthcare; it only gives access to a waiting list.

--Canadian Supreme Court Decision 2005 SCC 35, [2005] 1 S.C.R. 791

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  1. Medicare: A Framework for Medicare Reform

John C. Goodman, PhD, President, NCPA

Executive Summary

Health care is the most serious domestic policy problem we have, and Medicare is the most important component of that problem. Every federal agency that has examined the issue has affirmed that we are on a dangerous, unsustainable spending path:

There are three underlying reasons for this dilemma: Read more . . .

Ideas Changing the World, National Center for Policy Analysis, John Goodman, PhD, President

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Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

- Ronald Reagan

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  1. Medical Gluttony: Obama Administration: Largest Tax Hike since WWII

Recently, April 15th, so-called "Tax Day," served as a reminder that our federal government takes more of our money each year to fund a multitude of things not within its constitutional authority or purposes.

President Obama bragged recently that our deficits are coming down at the fastest rate in 60 years. And it is true: deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) are falling faster under Obama than they have at any point since the end of World War II, says the Washington Examiner.

Fast forward more than 60 years to today, and taxes are rising faster now under Obama than they have under any other president since WWII. Read more . . .

Source: Conn Carroll, "Taxes Rising Faster under Obama than Under any Other President," Washington Examiner, August 7, 2013.

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Medical Gluttony thrives in Government and Health Insurance Programs.

It Disappears with Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.

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6. Medical Myths: Universal Intimacy

Why Is There a Hookup Culture?

By Dennis Prager

It is well known that most college students engage at one time or another in what is known as a "hookup" -- an emotionless, commitment-less sexual encounter.

Yesterday, I interviewed Donna Freitas, author of "The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy."

In our dialogue, we agreed that her book subtitle was accurate, but we disagreed as to the cause. Freitas, who holds a Ph.D. in religious studies, blamed it on peer pressure, the sex-drenched social media of young people and the ubiquity of pornography. I blamed three other culprits: feminism, careerism and secularism. Read more . . .

I was in college and graduate school during the heyday of modern feminism. And the central message to women was clear as daylight: You are no different from men. Therefore, among other things, you can enjoy sex just like they do -- just for the fun of it and with many partners. The notion that nearly every woman yearns for something deeper when she has sexual intercourse with a man was dismissed as patriarchal propaganda. The culture might tell her to restrict sex to a man who loves her and might even marry her, but the liberated woman knows better: Sex without any emotional ties or possibility of future commitment can be "empowering."

Feminism taught -- and professors on the New York Times op-ed page continue to write -- that there are no significant natural differences between men and women. Therefore, it is not unique to male nature to want to have sex with many partners. Rather, a "Playboy culture" "pressures" men into having frequent, uncommitted sex. And, to the extent this is a part of male nature, it is equally true of women's natures.

Another feminist message to women was that just as a woman can have sex like a man, she can also find career as fulfilling as men do. Therefore, pursuing an "M-R-S" at college is just another residue of patriarchy. Women should be as interested in a career as men are. Any hint of the notion that women want, more than anything else, to marry and make a family is sexist, demeaning, and untrue.

One result is that instead of trying to find a potential husband, young women are under feminist pressure to show that they couldn't care less about forming an exclusive, let alone permanent, relationship with a man. And this provides another reason for her to engage in non-emotional, commitment-free sex.

The third reason for the hookup culture is the radical secularization of the college campus. The concept of the holy is dead at American campuses, and without the notion of the holy it is very difficult to make the case for minimizing, let alone avoiding, non-marital sex. Sex, which every great religion seeks to channel into marriage, has no such role in secular thinking. The (SET ITAL) only (END ITAL) issues for students to be aware of when it comes to sex are health and consent. Beyond those two issues, there is not a single reason not to have sex with many people.

That's why colleges -- secular temples that they are -- throughout America reinforce the centrality and importance of sex as a mechanical act. There are "sex weeks" at many of our institutions of higher learning that feature demonstrations of sex toys, S&M seminars, porn stars coming to speak, etc.

Feminist teaching about male-female sameness; feminist teaching that women will derive their greatest meaning from career, not from marriage and family; and the complete removal of religious values and teaching from the college campus are, indeed, "leaving a generation unhappy, sexually unfulfilled [certainly most of the women] and confused about intimacy."

But this is not how Dr. Freitas sees it.

As Esfehani Smith wrote in her review of the book for the Wall Street Journal: "In the book's conclusion, Ms. Freitas says that she wants young adults to have 'good sex,' a category that can include, she suggests, hooking up -- as long as students recognize that casual sex is 'just one option among many.' Yet this jars with the nearly 200 preceding pages on the corrosive effects of casual sex."

Kudos, then to Dr. Freitas for delineating the tragedy. But I suspect that it is her very Ph.D. that prevents her from understanding either the roots of this human tragedy or its solution. Both would involve the moral and intellectual rejection of the very institution that granted it to her

Read the entire column

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Medical & Sexual Myths originate in secular temples on campuses.

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  1. Overheard in the Church Pew: Absolute Sincerity

In church, recently, while awaiting the service, I heard a sweet little old lady seated behind me, quietly whispering a prayer. It was so sweet and sincere that I just had to share it with you. Read more . . .

She said:
Dear Lord, this has been a tough several have taken my favorite actor Patrick Swayze, my favorite musician Michael Jackson, my favorite salesman Billy Mays, my favorite actress Elizabeth Taylor, my favorite singer Whitney Houston, and now, my favorite announcer Dick Clark.

I just wanted you to know that my favorite politician is Barack Obama.


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The Church Is Often Where Unfiltered Opinions Are Heard.

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  1. Voices of Medicine: Whistleblowers attempt to change the culture of federal agencies

Advocates Applaud Senate Passage of S. 743

November 14, 2012 by
Filed under 
CampaignCongress & Courts

November 14, 2012


Advocates Applaud Senate Passage of S. 743
After Decade Long Campaign, Federal Whistleblower Bill Sent to President’s Desk

After a decade long campaign by the Make It Safe Coalition to restore federal whistleblower protections, we applaud yesterday’s Senate passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, S. 743 (WPEA), by unanimous consent. The House of Representatives approved this measure in September, also by unanimous consent. Congress’ sweeping endorsement of S. 743 demonstrates the strong bipartisan support for this government accountability legislation to expand protections for federal employees who disclose wrongdoing and protect the public trust.  Longtime whistleblower champion and retiring Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) was joined by his cosponsors Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in advocating for passage of this crucially needed reform legislation. A full list of Senate cosponsors can be viewed here. We cannot thank these champions and their staff enough for their marathon commitment to the WPEA.

Whistleblower advocates from across the ideological spectrum celebrated this government accountability and taxpayer protection measure: Read more . . .

AFGE is proud to join a bipartisan group of lawmakers and a coalition of worker, good government, and civic advocates in applauding passage of S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act by the Senate. For far too long managers in the federal workplace have faced little or no accountability when they retaliate against federal workers who blow the whistle on fraud, waste and wrongdoing on the job,” said Beth Moten, Legislative Director for American Federation of Government Employees. “The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act marks the beginning of a new day of free speech and due process rights for federal workers such as Transportation Security Officers who protect our nation’s airports, food safety inspectors, government scientists, and others when they speak up on behalf of the public.”
“After a 13 year roller coaster campaign, Congress unanimously has given whistleblowers who defend the public a fighting chance to defend themselves. This is a major victory for taxpayers and public servants, but a major defeat for special interests and bureaucrats. Free speech rights for government employees never have been stronger,” said Tom Devine, Legal Director for the Government Accountability Project. “It would be dishonest to say our work is done, however, or to deny that government whistleblower rights are still second class compared to those in the private sector. House Republicans blocked two cornerstones of the legislation: jury trials to enforce newly-enacted protections, and extension of free speech rights to national security workers making disclosures within agency channels.” 

“A transpartisan impulse expressed through bi-partisan consensus. Good to see the U.S. House and Senate finally do something right for the American people,” said Michael Ostrolenk, National Director of the Liberty Coalition. ”The passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act is an important first step in protecting citizens against Federal waste, fraud and abuse of power.”

Congress has just made a major bipartisan stride to stand behind conscientious federal employees who stand up for taxpayers,” said National Taxpayers Union Executive Vice President Pete Sepp.“Whistleblowers are true trailblazers on the path to fiscal responsibility in Washington, and passage of S. 743 is a hopeful sign that more progress and more protections lie straight ahead.”

National President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union commented: “This is a vital piece of legislation that expands protections for federal employees who disclose fraud, waste, abuse or illegal activity on behalf of taxpayers and in the best interests of our nation. Notably, it includes specific protection for the scientists who work for our nation, are committed to valid research and who should not be swayed or penalized for their work. NTEU is very pleased to see its passage before the end of this current session of Congress.”

“This opening salvo to the lame duck shows that Congress can put aside partisan posturing and deliver more government accountability to the American public. These hard-fought reforms will substantially improve the status quo for federal whistleblowers and taxpayers,” said Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy for Project On Government Oversight. “It has been a long time coming, but the federal workers now will have a better chance at real justice when they suffer from retaliation for exposing waste, corruption, and abuse. These courageous workers deserve no less for their service to us and our country.”

“Reforms such as these create a vehicle for workers to safely call out potential hazards in the workplace without retaliation from the employer,” said Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “By giving federal workers more opportunity and resources to identify hazardous workplace situations, the government will become more efficient.”

“Whistleblowers are critical in making the government more efficient and accountable. This legislation finally gives Whistleblowers the respect and protection they deserve,” said David Williams, President of Taxpayers Protection Alliance. “Congress has shown the American people that they are willing to work together and put partisan differences aside to do the right thing by passing the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.”

“We hope that this law will begin a process to change the culture of federal agencies when it comes to whistleblowers,” said Celia Wexler, Senior Washington Representative, Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy. “People who protect the public from unsafe drugs, tainted food, defective products, and environmental hazards should not fear for their jobs when they speak up for safety and scientific integrity.” 

The WPEA includes critically important upgrades to the broken system for federal whistleblowing to better serve taxpayers. Though it does not include every reform that we have sought and will continue to seek, the bill will restore and modernize government whistleblower rights by ensuring that legitimate disclosures of wrongdoing will be protected, increasing government accountability to taxpayers, and saving billions of taxpayer dollars by helping expose fraud, waste and abuse. Overall, the WPEA’s provisions will restore free speech rights closed through arbitrary loopholes and create new protections for federal scientists and Transportation Security Administration officers. The bill also will strengthen due process rights, such as a two-year experiment in normal access to appeals courts (effectively breaking the Federal Circuit’s monopoly on appellate review); provide compensatory damages; create whistleblower ombudsmen at Inspectors General offices; and strengthen authority by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to help whistleblowers through disciplinary actions against those who retaliate, and to file briefs in court supportive of whistleblower rights.

The Senate cosponsors and their dedicated staff worked closely with their House colleagues, Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), retiring Representative Todd Platts (R-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD),  Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and their committed staff, to reach a bipartisan compromise that could pass this usually contentious Congress. After a hard-fought campaign, Congress has finally enacted this important reform.

A menu of key reforms can be viewed here:

The bill can be viewed here:

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VOM Is an Insider's View of What Doctors are Thinking, Saying and Writing about

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9. Book - Movie Review: By James J. Murtagh, M.D.

"Breaking Bad": Character is Fate

Meth-cooking Walt reaches new height of art: No Excuses


Warning:  spoiler alert. If you have not seen the final episode of  Breaking Bad, do not read further. The episode contains a major plot twist which is discussed in this Op- Ed.

It is fiendishly appropriate that the modern Greek tragedy, Breaking Bad, ends almost exactly 2400 years since Sophocles wrote Oedipus Rex. Breaking Bad, demonstrates the most intense hell on earth, forcing its worst characters to kill the people and things they love best. But unlike any other modern drama, the main character finds at least partial redemption in admitting, "I did it because I wanted to"- a completely novel idea in modern times!

For five years Breaking Bad, like The Shield, like the Sopranos, and "The Wire", shows evil in all its seductive guises. Of these, Breaking Bad was most shocking, even moving its audience to cheer for the central character, Walter White, the average man in this morality play, the chemistry teacher dying of lung cancer who decided that he had no way out and had no choice but to turn to crime and cook meth. His almost-innocent beginning led to worse crimes and eventually he ends up a drug king pin. Even White's murder of innocents- including an innocent child- evoked a morbid fascination. How much could one man get away with? Read more . . .

But then the twist. Tonight in the finale, Walt made no excuses. This may be a first since the Greeks and Shakespeare- Walt actually took responsibility and admits he has no one to blame but himself. He had been telling himself that he turned to crime to save his family. Tonight he admits, "I did it for myself. I liked cooking meth. I was good at it."

Whoa! No one in the Inferno, or the Sopranos, or the Wire or the Shield, admitted that they had free will. Most, like Michael Corleone justified themselves, "I had to do it for my family."

The average Shakespearean villains, from Richard III to Macbeth blamed the stars or the weather or the witches. Rarely did a villain admit "I am the author of my own suffering". It was the highest form of Shakespearean art when characters transcended and admitted what they did- Hamlet, King Lear and Othello.

Oedipus was perhaps the first to realize his own free will brought him to his fate: "Apollo - he ordained my agonies - these, my pains on pains! But my hand that stuck my eyes was mine, mine alone - no one else - I did it all myself!"

In modern times, criminals blame a series of dominos in their life. Variations on the twinky defense. Lesser Greek characters also tried to blame crime on micro events- "we started the Trojan war because of an argument, a woman, an apple."

Fate reserves circles in hell for treacherous murderers even below simple murderers. Not being caught appears infinitely crueler than being fried by 2,400 volts in an electric chair. There is a deep freeze as cold as great lake Cocytus Dante described at the bottom of the ninth circle of hell, reserved for the great traitors of all time.

Dostoevsky also believed that punishment was essential to redemption of the human soul. Hell's best-kept secret is that we create it for ourselves. Walt connived, threatened, hoodwinked and betrayed to make a bad end. But Walt, at the last minute, realizes, makes sincere contrition and achieves a redemption.

Robert Frost wrote that torment by ice can be much more painful than by fire, metaphorically contrasting passionate torments with death by hatred. Walt's enemy’s fate is death by ice, frozen into a bland cubicle, with no hope of redemption.

In a larger sense, society also had a hand in Walt's demise. Had Obamacare been in place, and Walt had affordable health care, Walt would have had no reason to turn to crime. Is it worse for a hungry man to steal a loaf of bread, or a dying man to ask for medicine? Perhaps worst of all is the society that creates the criminal by making him steal the bread or the drug.

Congress should take note. Can Congress claim that it has no free will?  I hope our lawmakers watched the program and decided to end the abomination of gridlock and the lack of medical care.

Shakespeare granted the release of death as the greatest boon to both homicidal heroes and villains.  Hamlet, Oedipus and Walt all lived in worlds "rotten." The deserts of New Mexico have much in common with Hamlet's Denmark.

"To never have been born may be the greatest boon of all." Walt had few options at the end. He asks his adversaries to end his life.

Not all villains could be punished by no punishment. The Iagos and Richard IIIs delight in escape. Could fitting punishment depend more on the nature of the criminal, than on the crime? For some criminals, capital punishment is devoutly to be wished. For Dante, divine punishment was necessary for the operation of a divine Universe.

Do we, in the modern world, including our leaders, suffer even more because the possibility of punishment often seems remote?

Sophocles heard it long ago upon the Agean, the turbid eb and flow of human misery.

Walt- your end puts you in the company of the greats. We will miss you.

James J. Murtagh Jr.

This review is found at

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The Book / Movie Review Section Is an Insider’s View of What Doctors are Reading and Seeing.

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10. Hippocrates & His Kin: A Common Ancestry; A New Way to Stop Smoking.

If all the countries of Europe had a common ancestor only 1000 years ago, maybe we all had a common ancestor some 6,000 years ago?

Suppose their names were Adam and Eve? Read more . . .

Adam and Steve could never have produced such a family. You can’t reproduce hooking up to the rectum. You can’t even have a face to face meeting that way. One would throw his spine out of joint to try to get an approval from Medicare without a face-to-face meeting, wouldn’t he?

When God made Woman after creating all the other mammals, He greatly beautified creation by moving the mammary glands from the groin to the top of the chest. He also made marital union far more pleasant and exciting.

Can you imagine watching the Academy Awards with all those beautiful women with their gowns draped around breasts still in the groin?

Ella Mae Lopez in Sacramento was sentenced to 63 days in jail for slapping Deputy Matt Campoy as he excited the main jail in uniform at the end of his shift. Lopez kept blocking his path as Campoy tried to avoid her until she finally slapped him in the face. Lopez explained she was only trying to serve time in a smoke-free jail in order to quit smoking cold turkey.

Sixty-three days of not smoking is probably about the same success that smoking withdrawal clinics achieve.

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Hippocrates and His Kin / Hippocrates Modern Colleagues
The Challenges of Yesteryear, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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11. Restoring Accountability in Medical Practice, HealthCare, Government and Society:

Bottom line: "We are the best deal Physicians can get from a statewide physician based organization!"

Our motto, "omnia pro aegroto" means "all for the patient."

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12. Words of Wisdom, Recent Postings, In Memoriam, Today in History . . .

Words of Wisdom

Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have a choice. –Henry A Kissinger (1923 -

Moderation in all things. –Cleobulus (6th century BC)

Moderation multiplies pleasures. –Democritus (460-370 BC)

Some Recent Postings

In The March Issue:

  1. Featured Article: It’s a good day for BABIES

  2. In the News: ObamaCare Tax Increases: Onward and Forever Upward

  3. International Medicine: Canadian Health Care

  4. Medicare: Another loss of access caused by Obamacare: When will it end?

  5. Medical Gluttony: Second opinions from a second emergency room are costly.

  6. Medical Myths: Whistle Blowers Keep Doctors in Line?

  7. Overheard in the Medical Staff Lounge: Don’t Bill Medicaid Patients. You lose in two ways.

  8. Voices of Medicine: Authentic Medic - Douglas Farrago MD, Editor, Creator & Founder

  9. The Bookshelf: Love in the time of Algorithms

  10. Hippocrates & His Kin: GOP senator backs same-sex marriage

  11. Restoring Accountability in Medicine, Government and Society

  12. Words of Wisdom, Recent Postings, In Memoriam, Today in History . . .

In Memoriam

Ray Cusick, designer of the Daleks, died on February 21st, aged 84

The Economist | From the print edition | Mar 2nd 2013 |

MONSTERS in those far-off days—the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Godzilla, or even Robby, the robot from “Forbidden Planet”—were men in costumes. Trick photography, thudding music and eerie lighting added menace but not much variety.

So when in 1963 Ray Cusick was asked to design some villains for a new BBC science-fiction series, he sought something different. Not people in masks and silver tracksuits. No legs. No visible form of locomotion. A creepy, gliding effect. Relentless. The sort of thing you would get, in fact, if a man on a tricycle sat inside an outsized pepper pot. And all on a budget of £250. Terry Nation, the “Doctor Who” scriptwriter, was delighted with the result. He had had no clear idea of what he wanted, but the finished item “seemed very familiar”. Read more . . .

The Daleks—mutant monsters in sinister shells—trundled into the clapped-out studio reserved for children’s programmes. They were the new foe for the Doctor, an anarchic demigod who travels space and time in a blue police cubicle and whose only weapon is his wits. Critics were sceptical, until the fan mail arrived. Children across Britain huddled behind their sofas in squeaking, enjoyable terror. Mr Cusick’s own daughters ran, eyes closed, past the Dalek picture he put at the head of the stairs. The aliens from planet Skaro sparked countless playground games. The screeching atonal voice demanded imitation. Elbows in, arms stuck out stiffly, knees together, and the chase began. They were among the greatest science-fiction monsters ever conceived.

The unwise mocked their lethal armament (it resembled a plumber’s rubber plunger and an egg whisk) and their inability to climb. A cartoon in Punch, a weekly satirical magazine, captioned them flummoxed by a staircase. “Well, this certainly buggers our plan to conquer the Universe” it read. “Real Daleks don’t climb stairs; they level the building,” retorted their fans. Their appearance was deceptive, though. Returning to British television screens in 2005 after a 16-year gap, they showed off their anti-gravity powers (perhaps helped by the advance in computer-graphics imagery). “Elevate!” they barked, while the Doctor ran for his life.

For all their gimcrack genesis Daleks were—and are—no joke. For adults in 1960s Britain, they were Nazis on castors. “Ex-ter-min-ate” was their ecstatic catchword, death rays their miracle weapon. Their emotions ranged narrowly between hatred (which they venerate) and anger. Their obedience to orders was unquestioning. Obsessed with their own superiority, their goal was to destroy other lifeforms, if necessary enslaving them first. An episode in 1964 showed London’s empty streets stalked by trundling storm troopers, their plungers raised in a “Sieg Heil” salute.

While adults relished the echo of the demonic wartime foe, children found the Daleks’ absurd nastiness captivating. Toys and books sold in their millions, though purist fans bemoaned the inconsistent back stories that resulted from multiple revivals and ill-researched plot lines. Many a serious British professional has a toy Dalek on his desk. In unguarded moments he may even play with it.

The Daleks’ glory reflected greatly on Mr Cusick. But the colossal sums of money they made went elsewhere. The golden age of British television was good in many respects—in its lack of jargon and committees for example—but could be fearfully stingy. The late Mr Nation was a freelance writer with a hard-nosed agent, and became a rich man from the Daleks’ success. Mr Cusick was a salaried BBC employee and entitled to nothing but thanks. “Is any of this money coming my way?” he asked. It wasn’t. Their relations cooled. Only after a long struggle by a loyal boss did he receive a token £100. . . Mr Cusick was glad he’d retired . . .

Of greater interest was a real conflict with a despotic foreigner: Napoleon and his wars. When Mr Cusick’s local museum asked for help with an exhibition celebrating the bicentenary of the world’s first rifle regiment, which mustered in Horsham in 1800, he offered minute knowledge of the sharpshooters’ uniforms, training and barracks, based on decades of his private scholarly research. He wished modern children learned a bit more about history, and knew a bit less about Daleks.

Read the full obituary in The Economist . . .

On This Month in History - April

April 11, 1947: Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier.

April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

April 11, 1951: President Truman removed General Douglas MacArthur from the Korean War Command. This more likely than not was the beginning of a divided Korea; as well as our current North Korean threat to world peace. Having whipped the whole world twice, this began the current saga of the United States of America never winning a war. It also more likely than not is the cause of the current decline in the morale of the men in our military who are watching their buddies dying for no discernible cause. What else could you expect from civilian commanders-in-chief who are military illiterates?

April 12, 1945: Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. He was the cause of our march away from the Constitution and began the loss of our liberties; this in turn is causing the decline of the greatest and most productive civilization the world has ever seen. May the current occupant in the Big White House on Pennsylvania not totally destroy it?

After Leonard and Thelma Spinrad

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Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the father of socialized medicine in Germany, recognized in 1861 that a government gained loyalty by making its citizens dependent on the state by social insurance. Thus socialized medicine, any single payer initiative, Social Security was born for the benefit of the state and of a contemptuous disregard for people’s welfare.

We must also remember that ObamaCare has nothing to do with appropriate healthcare; it was similarly projected to gain loyalty by making American citizens dependent on the government and eliminating their choice and chance in improving their welfare or quality of healthcare. Socialists know that once people are enslaved, freedom seems too risky to pursue.