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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Special Tribute to Michael Jackson

WE ARE THE WORLD






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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Can You Really Trust Your Doctor?


Death by Prescription Drugs

According to the groundbreaking 2003 medical report "Death by Medicine", by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Dorothy Smith, 783,936 people in the United States die every year from conventional medicine mistakes. That's the equivalent of six jumbo jet crashes a day for an entire year. But where is the media attention for this tragedy? Where is the government support for stopping these medical mistakes before they happen?

According to the study led by Null, which involved a painstaking review of thousands of medical records, the United States spends $282 billion annually on deaths due to medical mistakes, or iatrogenic deaths. And that's a conservative estimate; only a fraction of medical errors are reported, according to the study. Actual medical mistakes are likely to be 20 times higher than the reported number because doctors fear retaliation for those mistakes. The American public heads to the doctor's office or the hospital time and again, oblivious of the alarming danger they're heading into. The public knows that medical errors occur, but they assume that errors are unusual, isolated events.

Since Americans spend so much money on health care, they should be getting a high quality of care, right? Unfortunately, that's not the case. Of the 783,936 annual deaths due to conventional medical mistakes, about 106,000 are from prescription drugs, according to Death by Medicine. That also is a conservative number. Some experts estimate it should be more like 200,000 because of underreported cases of adverse drug reactions.



Americans today are used to fixing problems the quick way – even when it comes to their health. Thus, they rely heavily on prescription drugs to fix their diseases. For every conceivable ailment – real or not – chances are there's a pricey prescription drug to "treat" it. Chances are even better that their drug of choice comes chock full of side effects.

The problem is, prescription drugs don't treat diseases; they merely cover the symptoms. U.S. physicians provide allopathic health care – that is, they care for disease, not health. So, the over-prescription of drugs and medications is designed to treat disease instead of preventing it. And because there are so many drugs available, unforeseen adverse drug reactions are all too common, which leads to the highly conservative annual prescription drug death rate of 106,000. Keep in mind that these numbers came before the Vioxx scandal, and Cox-2 inhibitor drugs could ultimately end up killing tens of thousands more.

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Public Health Option Will Save $1.8 Trillion


Public Health Option Means Taxpayer Savings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A nationwide health insurance exchange that includes a Medicare-like government option could save $1.8 trillion more than if only private plans are offered, a prominent private U.S. health policy group said on Wednesday. Federal spending on health-related costs would still rise from 2010 to 2020, but they would be less with a plan that pays doctors and hospital rates similar to the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.

The New York-based health policy research group compared possible savings a health insurance exchange could bring under three different scenarios. One would include a Medicare-like plan along with private insurance. Another would instead offer a government-run plan with rates somewhat higher than Medicare. The final one would be private insurance with no government plan at all.
Such an exchange would offer a central point for consumers to shop for and compare health plans. An exchange that instead offered a plan with rates slightly higher than Medicare but below current private plan rates would save nearly $800 billion over one with only private options, according to the Commonwealth Fund's analysis.

"Offering a public plan choice and the design of this choice makes a difference in the pace of change," said Cathy Schoen, the group's senior vice president. Whether Democrats' plan to revamp the U.S. health care system and provide coverage to the roughly 46 million uninsured Americans includes a government-run insurance plan is a major sticking point as Congress finalizes its proposal. Supporters say such an option would offer Americans an affordable alternative. Most people with health insurance in the United Stated get it through their employer or the government. But those who do not have coverage through work and do not qualify for Medicare or the Medicare program for the poor can face a tough time buying a policy.

The Commonwealth fund echoed those sentiments, saying private plans could lower premiums as more people seek insurance and that lower administrative costs with the government-run options may force private plans to streamline.


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Insurance Executive Admits that the Sick are Dumped


DENIED

It's an undisputed fact that health insurers serve only one purpose - to make money for their owners and shareholders. They do this by using any legal means available (and even some illegal means) to rake in cash from people who rarely get sick and deny coverage to folks who might actually need more than cursory attention. Insurance companies do not care if your daughter has cancer, or if your wife suffers from chronic pain, or if your husband needs an operation to keep him alive. They. Do. Not. Care. Representatives might make soothing noises when they speak to you over the phone, they'll direct you to a clinic or supply you with a list of doctors on the network, some may even express sympathy for your plight. But make no mistake. The health insurance industry is driven by profit, and there's no profit to be had in seeing that seriously ill people receive the treatment they deserve. So they deny coverage.

A retired health insurance executive — in a shocking but not terribly surprising admission — confessed Wednesday that insurance companies deliberately confuse policyholders and attempt to dump sick patients to plump their profit margins.

They confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors,” former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter told senators at a hearing on health insurance Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations,’” Potter told the hearing, according to ABC News.

They look carefully to see if a sick policyholder may have omitted a minor illness, a pre-existing condition, when applying for coverage, and then they use that as justification to cancel the policy, even if the enrollee has never missed a premium payment,” Potter added. “Dumping a small number of enrollees can have a big effect on the bottom line.



DEMAND A PUBLIC HEALTH OPTION


source: RAW STORY

source: THE PROGRESSIVE PUPPY



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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Republicans Declare War Over Public Healthcare Option


The Party of NO, also known as last I remembered as the Republican Party, the same cast of characters that took a large surplus, gave it to their cronies, spent like drunken sailors, and bankrupted this economy. The same party whose leader planned to go to war with Iraq BEFORE we were ever attacked on 9/11; the same party whose possible Presidential candidate in 2012 decided to take a trip to Argentina; the party of Ensign, Vetter, Craig and now Sanford. Yes, that's the party. The one who believes we cannot have good healthcare unless the major insurance corporations that finance many of their campaigns are included so that large profits can be made on the backs of the people.

Well we have come to the time that major healthcare reform MUST be undertaken in order to prevent the entire collapse of our economy. Our government has shown that it is very capable of setting up healthcare systems that work. We have the Veterans Administration, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. All these programs work much more efficiently than our insurance option, with no "pre-existing condition" garbage, no frequent denials of service, etc. The 40 members of the Republican Party are now prepared to say that they will not allow a public option . . . period. This small minority believes it has the right to govern, even after they lost so badly. Their arrogance is stunning. Here is Republican Senator Chuck Grassley:



President Obama insists that a public healthcare option is a necessity for the 46 million uninsured in this country. Why is it that the Republican Party has such disdain for the poor and the less fortunate in this country? They can't make money off of them. It's that simple. So, they consider any efforts in that direction to be a waste of money. Why is the Republican Party against CHOICE for the American people? Here is the President's statement on the necessity of public healthcare to "
keep the insurance companies honest."




Former Presidential candidate, Dr. Howard Dean responds to questions on the specifics of a public healthcare option




Here is Dr. Dean explaining the necessity of a public healthcare option for true healthcare reform.




Give America a choice. We support healthcare reform that allows individual Americans to choose either a universally available public healthcare option like Medicare or for-profit private insurance. A public option is the
ONLY way to guarantee healthcare for all Americans and its inclusion is non-negotiable. Any legislation without the choice of a public option is only insurance reform and not the healthcare reform America needs.

Dr. Dean's announcement comes at time when insurance companies and HMO's are lining up to fight President Obama on his campaign promise to include a publicly available option in the healthcare reform he wants passed by Congress this year.


If you still have questions about the need for a public healthcare option, watch the movie "SICKO" and make up your own mind:


via
videosift.com


Sicko is not a movie about the 50 million Americans walking around without health insurance. Sicko is a movie about the other 250 million of us who have insurance, but are just as screwed. It’s also about freedom, real freedom, not the empty kind that gets thrown around as a buzzword; the freedom to live your life with the certainty that forces beyond your control won’t take away everything you have and everything you are. We don’t have that kind of freedom here in America, and Moore’s film makes that point by simply talking to real people. They’re your neighbors, your friends, your parents, some of them are even 9/11 heroes. Moore uses his camera to let them tell their stories of insurance company mistreatment and in the process paints a complete picture of a corrupt and fatally flawed system which isn’t just killing people but taking away their dignity and their liberty.

At first, he isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. Anyone who’s spent any time dealing with insurance companies knows what a mess it is. You pay your premiums and then when you actually need them they go out of their way not to help you. They’re in the business of finding reasons not to spend money, and everyone knows it. What you may not know is just how far they’ll go. Having insurance doesn’t mean you’re protected, and the film covers both ends of the spectrum from people left to die because insurance companies refuse treatment, to people dropped from policies for bogus reasons, to an elderly couple driven to bankruptcy and made homeless by high deductibles. The film leaves no room for anyone to think it won’t happen to them. It will. It happens to everyone, just in varying degrees. When you finish watching this video of Sicko, you’ll do it with the absolute certainty that if you ever encounter serious health trouble, you’re screwed.



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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Truth About Obama's Birthplace



Birthplace Exposed

President Barack Obama has undergone all kinds of accusations and scrutiny about his place of birth. Right-wingnuts, also known as "birthers" have crowded our courts with lawsuit after lawsuit in an effort to have Obama declared to NOT be a "natural born citizen". They claim he was born in Kenya, never mind that his mother was NEVER in that country and there is ZERO evidence to prove she ever was.

They claim that IF he was born in Hawaii, his father was a British subject, and that according to the Constitution, a President must have been born to two American parents. They desperately cling to a document that according to them has never changed. Really? The Constitution says black people are equal to 3/5 of a human being. This document has evolved over the centuries to accommodate the times. It is now considered that a person born in the United States, no matter the nationality of his parents, is a "natural born citizen" and this has been upheld in the courts over the years.

In an effort to diffuse this foolishness, Obama did what any reasonable person would do, he asked for a copy of his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. That state does what it has done for decades, it provided him with what is called a short-form or "Certificate of Live Birth". The state does not provide the original long-form or vault certificate as a matter of policy, but simply provides a laser copy of the original.



This was a mistake. Phony experts such as some guy using the pseudonym, Dr. Ron Polarik, posted an impressive but mistake-filled analysis of how this birth certificate was falsified. The state of Hawaii responded that they do have Obama's original vault certificate and that this short form copy is a true and accurate representation. This did nothing to dissuade the Orly Taitzs and Philip Bergs of the world to continue their egocentric efforts to raise funds to file even more frivolous lawsuits, and have their 15 minutes of fame.

Well, the truth has been outed. After tireless investigation by the Candid Blogger we can now say with certainty that Obama's birthplace has been found. An admission by the President himself, given at a time of great levity, now rears its ugly head and will surely result in a rush to the courts to file more lawsuits. Here is the President in a moment of self-examination as he admits to his place of birth and also admits to the conspiracy that sent him to America to rule:









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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anti-Obama Author Conned by April Fools Joke

Who Cares About the Truth?

MUCKRAKING AT ITS BEST

The attacks of the wingnuts continue. The latest to add to the list of protagonists is Jim Kirwan. Move over Leo Donofrio, Mario Apuzzo, Philip Berg, Orly Taitz, etc. Many of the fringe element still like to believe that Barack Obama is not qualified to be President of the United States. Or they like to say they believe it to get their 15 minutes of fame. These purveyors of false information use a variety of reasons, all without merit. One argument is that he was born in Kenya. Never mind that his mother was never in that country. Another argument is that his Hawaiian birth certificate is not genuine. Another is that he was born in Hawaii but because one of his parents was not a US Citizen, he is not eligible to be president, never mind court decisions over the years that have led to the current standard that ANYONE born in the United States is "natural born". Why do I mention this?

Because San Francisco political writer, Jim Kirwan, has joined the ranks of the foolish or just plain careless. On june 18, he published an article on the horrible website Rense.com, whose owner, Jeff Rense, has made a crusade of attacking Barack Obama in any way he can -- truth be damned. Here is JIm's embarrassing article:
IT COMES DOWN TO THIS.

I read the first paragraph and almost fell over laughing. On April Fools Day of this year, the following email was circulated about Obama. It is entirely FALSE and has been exposed at
SNOPES.COM:

Here is the first paragraph of Kirwan's article, identical word for word with that email:

"In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama's qualifications for the presidency, the group "Americans for Freedom of Information" has released copies of President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental College. Released today, the transcript indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship."


Mr. Kirwan could easily have checked his sources but that apparently means nothing to those whose single-minded focus on finding something, ANYTHING, they can use against the President. He could easily have checked SNOPES.COM. I did. The desperation of "writers", bloggers, website owners like Farah at WorldNutDaily, etc., is pathetic in their futile attempts to discredit our President, facts be damned. I hope Mr. Kirwan and Mr. Rense will publish apologies with the same fervor they attack the President. You should be ashamed




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Monday, June 15, 2009

Big Pharma Covers Up Mercury Link to Autism

In June of 2000, the Center for Disease Control, the World Wealth Organization, the FDA, "leading" scientists and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry got together for a secret meeting. Their focus was the growing public and scientific awareness that mercury used as a preservative in vaccines for children had unleashed an epidemic of autism.

The participants came to three conclusions:

1. They acknowledged the autism/mercury connection was true (or at least highly plausible).

2. They conspired to create a statistical smokescreen to obscure the science.

3. They agreed not to disclose anything that took place at the meeting.

Your tax dollars at work.

Here is the Smoking Gun -- a clip from the movie Autism: Made in the USA






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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Loss of Liberty

USS Liberty

Would the US allow its citizens to be attacked and killed by a foreign power and then cover up the facts? It would - and it has.

Many people in America believe we did just that on September 11, 2001. Our media whose ownership is well known has demeaned, belittled, and ostracized those who say our government would do such a thing. However, we have done it before. Here is the story:



On June 8th, 1967, the Israeli military attacked and attempted to sink the USS Liberty as she sailed under a US flag in international waters. Thirty-four US servicemen were killed and 171 injured by a well-coordinated, multi-wave assault which included the use of napalm.

The Israeli military called the attack a "tragic mistake" and then-President Lyndon Johnson agreed it was nothing more. LBJ had called off the assistance being offered by US fighter planes! Sailors who were aboard the ship were warned not to disclose the facts of what happened that day under penalty of court martial - or worse. Is this the America we know and love?

At the very least, it makes the possibility that this could have occurred on 9/11 that much more plausible. We just "celebrated" the anniversary of the attack and near-sinking of the USS Liberty by America's "closest ally" in the Middle East. This is a story that has been buried by the media for decades. Did you know about it?


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Friday, June 12, 2009

A Strong Argument for Reincarnation


As a young boy I remember reading a book that was serialized in the San Francisco Examiner entitled, "The Search for Bridey Murphy". It was an amazing tale of how a lady recalled a past life in Ireland a century prior in exquisite detail. It really sparked my interest. There was another tale told then of a boy in India who remembered his wife and seven children. When he was eventually led to her house, he showed her where her jewels were hidden in a hole under the bed. She freaked out and asked him to leave.

Now we have another amazing case, possibly the most detailed and provable of all. It is being called the most documented case of reincarnation ever. A little boy is able to recall over 50 memories from someone else's life. A World War II Pilot's family believes it is their reincarnated brother based on the child's memories. The boy's story is so compelling, it has been published in a new book called "
Soul Survivor."

Here is the video:







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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wal-Mart Makes Sheriff Joe's Job Easier

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Walmart is trying to dive deeper into the $90 billion-a-year Hispanic grocery market by opening a new supermarket in west Phoenix today.

The Supermercado de Walmart is 1 of 2 stores nationwide that will test the country's appetite for a possible string of Hispanic supermarkets. The other store opened in Houston on April 29 and the giant retailer says it's far exceeding expectations so far.

Phoenix and Houston were chosen for their large, multigenerational Hispanic populations with considerable spending power. Arizona has about 2 million Hispanic consumers.

Walmart has gained considerable knowledge and experience marketing to consumers in Mexico and Latin America and hopes to leverage it to boost sales to U.S. Hispanics, who have an estimated buying power of about $1 trillion a year.

click to read
Complete Story from AZCentral.com.


This apparently plays into the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has outraged many groups with his strict enforcement of immigration laws and his bulldog-like campaign to get illegal immigrants off the streets of Maricopa County.





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