A Reality Check For Whitehouse.gov/realitycheck

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Two separate problems are inherent with www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck. One, it’s pure Obama propaganda. Two, it’s funded by you, the taxpayer.

In my American Issues Project column today, I take on the reality of the six narratives the President puts forward via his proxies in videos there. I’ll share two “reality checks” here, but I hope you’ll read the whole thing.

The topic of the day seems to be “death panels”. President Obama and his representatives insist that utilitarian and actuarial arguments will have nothing to do with decisions. People are skeptical for very good reasons:

“The ‘euthanasia’ distortion on help for families” Related to the rationing concern, euthanasia is like unto it–rationing begets denial of care. Containing costs, when administrative costs are out of control (a problem with all bureaucracies), means denying high-cost items. Since the majority of health care costs come at the end of life, the bureaucracy is going to look at limiting end-of-life care. This is just common sense.

So, what that will mean is this: Grandma might have a two weeks left, but if parental nutrition (IV nutrition) was withheld, she would die in three days, instead. This results in enormous cost savings. It may also deprive the family of her last waking moments. It may deprive the family of time to say last good-byes, etc. These are intangibles. Life and death and the choices around them are incredibly personal. The government board who decides such things will, by cost-cutting necessity, insert themselves and be making moral (or immoral, depending on one’s perspective) decisions. This is a valid concern.

There are five other myths over there including talking about current Medicare recipients, veterans benefits paying for care, rationing, keeping your own insurance, etc. The most snort-worthy is that government run health care is good for small business:

“Reform will benefit small business – not burden it” This statement is just laugh-out-loud worthy. The best treatment of this subject is by Patty Briguglio, small business owner. I urge you to read her whole article. Here’s a snippet:

The president plans to use revenue from these higher taxes to pay for the $634 billion health care reform reserve fund. The administration’s new health care mandate would require employers like me either to offer health insurance to our employees or to pay an unspecified percentage of our payroll toward the cost of a national plan. Right now, I give each of my employees an allowance toward health care — essentially, they obtain the health insurance plan of their choice, and I reimburse them. In most cases, this allowance covers 100 percent of the cost of their insurance. Some of my employees worry that under the administration’s new mandate, they would not be allowed to keep their current insurance plans.

So, the plan will tax small businesses, but give them a tax credit. Guess what happens when costs sky-rocket? That’s right. Buh-bye to the tax credit. Furthermore, small business, already struggling with cash flow, decreased credit availability, a shrinking market and increased overhead proportional to profits, will have to pay more taxes? This is an economy killer and small business people know this. So does the administration.

Again, please go read the whole thing. As a taxpayer, you should be very concerned that the Obama administration is using the power of their pulpit to give bad information this way.



Kathleen Sebelius Will Let You Die

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

And why not? You, old person, do not fall within the parameters of the rules for saving. Neither do you, small child with degenerative disease. Nor do you, Lance Armstrong with your 10% chance.

Suck. It. Up.

And remember, you’re saving money for the people who are worth saving. From Matt Lewis:

Reading the Associated Press report, one would assume Tiller is the only problem, yet he barely draws a mention in Kyl’s press release on Sebelius. Instead, Kyl (who voted against Sebelius) singled out Sebelus’ views on “comparative effectiveness research”.

In English, that translates roughly as research to determine who is worth health care and who we should just let die. [Emphasis added]

Essentially, when you factor “comparative effectiveness” into medical decisions, it means that those decisions have to be made at least partially based on cost rather than the best interest of the patient.

She should receive no Republican support but she’s got two Senators in her corner. And some wonder why the Republican brand is crap.



Business Week

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

We Need An Ethics Czar
Why not? We have every other kind of czar now. What we need is an ethical President.



Cancer Free Baby?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Trading Six Babies For One Healthy One
For one possibly healthy one. Maybe.



Google IS Evil–UPDATED

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

My Tweet bud Lagomorph, pointed me to this UK Register article about Google:

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It’s a historic statement – and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that:

The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program.

A few years ago, Google’s apparently unimpeachable objectivity got some people very excited, and technology utopians began to herald Google as the conduit for a new form of democracy. Google was only too pleased to encourage this view. It explained that its algorithm “relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. “

Turns out that humans at Google choose what makes Google News. I wondered how hair-brained Huffington Post articles got headlined as actual news. Now we know. Evidently, this isn’t new news. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but I am alarmed.

As more and more people find their news via the web, it is disturbing that it’s not some impartial robot program deciding what’s news, but that it’s a few Dan Rathers sitting in a room deciding what you should know and not know. How is that different than the old media? How is it democratic? Answer: It’s not.

Google is evil. Beware the keepers of the information. They tend to morph into the deciders of what information you should know.

UPDATED:

The Gadfly has more on Evil Google.



Sperm Donor Fathers 46 Kids

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Sperm Donor Fathers 46 Kids
Hope he’s a decent guy and not some sort of mutant.



Protein Wisdom: Understanding Embryonic Stem Cell Issues

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Protein Wisdom: Understanding Embryonic Stem Cell Issues
The new Administration’s unethical rhetoric and actions.



Birthing A Baby To Save A Baby and Dying At Will: The Ethics Of Saving Or Losing A Life

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

It seems impossible that 18 years have passed since the controversial decision by the Ayala family who chose to get pregnant with a baby to save their daughter, Annisa, who suffered with leukemia. She needed a bone marrow transplant to save her life, but there were no matches. Her parents had another child who ended up being the perfect match. Both girls are alive and well today. Watch the whole story here.

An ethicist made the argument that it was wrong to have a child, and before the baby could consent herself, take her bone marrow to save her sister. I watched the family, imagined watching my daughter die and can see making the same decision. The thought did occur to me, though, what if the child wasn’t a match? How would that reality affect the family? After the older daughter died, would the new child be a solace or source of pain? That’s a lot to put on a child. I’m sure the parents thought this through. What say you?


I would have made the same decision as the Ayalas:
Agree
Disagree
  
pollcode.com free polls

This case also reminded me of end of life decisions, too. No one likes to talk about it, but I know for a fact that parents, children and doctors make tough choices every single day in hospitals across America. The Terri Schiavo case was especially divisive because of the nature of her husband’s relationship and the questionable circumstances surrounding her coma. At any rate, her case wasn’t typical. Most people at the end are suffering and the question is whether to intervene and end it, or less overtly, just remove the life support; or, should nature be allowed to take it’s course, meaning that the person dies when the body quits. Again, I’m curious about your reaction to this dilemma.


At the end, people should:
End the suffering if they want.
Let nature take its course.
  
pollcode.com free polls

Cross-posted at Right Wing News