Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pro "lifers" murder again

A lightning rod in the bitter culture war over abortion, George Tiller had already been picketed, bombed and shot in the arms.

He was shot to death just after 10 am (1500 GMT) in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, police and city officials said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why is this not front page news in the US?

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hives

I get hive outbreaks from an unknown allergen that sometimes will go away with two benadryl and sometimes, will take me out and require IV steroids to stop the reaction. This happened to me last week.  I was walking home when the reaction started and by the time I got home and took the benadryl I knew it was going to be a bad one so I called a taxi to take me to the hospital. Now I am smart enough to know that I should have called an ambulance, but I didn't want to pay for it. As a result, the reaction increased, I passed out on the sidewalk and someone walking by called an ambulance.

Seriously. 

I have health insurance and am not in financial dire straits. I can afford the ambulance ride. But the last time this happened it took six months to setttle all the bills between the health insurance company, the doctors, the ambulance and the ER.  Six months of phone calls, faxes and e-mails with various parties trying to confirm who had paid what.

My friend just got back from Denmark and described their social system of free healthcare, daycare and subsidized vacations.  She got it right on. We do it wrong.  

We construct situations that needlessly add to the anxiety and administrative burden of life and call it freedom or free market. I want to have a conversation with someone who argues that health care should be a "market". I want them to explain how people who are sick and vulnerable should be required to make rational, informed decisions about their care.  It is ridiculous and there should be a way to force the conversation on healthcare to acknowledge that.