Saturday, October 25, 2003

A religious viewpoint that makes some sense

A good friend passed this article along - well worth reading. If you're gonna profess to be religious, then you need to remember a few guiding principles, ones that seem to have been lost in the current political leadership. Bill Moyers interviews Joe Hough (I'm not a religious person, so can't and won't speak to all the biblical references, but I must say I do tire of the many hypocrits I run across, who profess to be so religious, but who "by their fruits" are anything but.)

Medscape at your fingertips

Medscape Headlines in RSS Have you ever wished you could be alerted as soon as something new gets posted in your specialty on Medscape? Would you like to have a way to browse everything we post in your specialty in one, easy-to-read format?

Now you can, with our new Medscape Headlines Feed in RSS format. RSS is a special type of file that is used by a new type of program called a News Reader. These News Readers run on your computer and check for new stories on Medscape on an hourly basis (check below for a list of popular News Readers).

All you need is a News Reader like the one I've mentioned frequently here - Feed Demon Easy to use - big time saver. All your important news in one spot.

Quote of the Day:
"Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks."
Eric Sevareid

Friday, October 24, 2003

Wouldn't this be a Great Story?

Seeking Funny Cide's Hollywood Ending: "RCADIA, Calif., Oct. 23 — It's a screenwriter's ending: the girl rider makes history in America's richest race aboard the beloved gelding who was the hero of the spring, an enigma in the summer and now the mystery of the fall. It could happen Saturday when Julie Krone takes the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Funny Cide, for a mile and a quarter spin, aiming to beat the best horses in the world here in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic."

I was truly bummed out when Funny Cide couldn't win the final leg of the Triple Crown. Highly unlikely he would win tomorrow, but boy oh boy, it would sure be exciting to watch him pull it off!


Who would have ever thunk it?

Running the Risk of Too Much Water ( "In the three years since Defensor nearly died in Orlando, runners, doctors and race officials have spent countless hours thinking about that very problem. Hyponatremia, a sodium imbalance brought on by excess fluid consumption, was once thought primarily to afflict extreme endurance athletes, such as Ironman competitors. But in the past few years, the condition has become increasingly associated with marathoners, in particular women and runners who are on the 26.2-mile course for more than four hours. "
This is some bad stuff - never heard about it until reading this article. A word to the wise for those of you lucky enough to be able to run for 3 or 4 hours! (or nutty enough to do so!).

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Followup On Nightline Show tonite

Interesting show, mostly highlighting the differences between the Canadian system and ours. Of note - 96% of Canadians said they'd keep theirs over ours. And why not? Every person is covered. Here in America, if you have a serious problem and have the money or insurance to get the very best treatment, there is no better place to be. But where does that leave 43 million Americans? In the doghouse. They did point out problems in the Canadian system, such as underfunding of some administrative areas, leading to underreporting of medical errors which can cost lives. But they did say that the Canadians were willing to admit to their problems and try to correct them. There are waits in the Canadian system, but I didn't get the impression that they would put someone's life in danger. I'm not sure 30 minutes can do justice to such a serious problem and I'm sure there's much more to it on both sides of the fence, than was presented here. However, it is obvious we have a long ways to go.

What's it gonna take here? Well a whole new look at how to finance our system and a whole different culture adjustment to care about those 43 million who can't afford it (I'll be joining their ranks soon, I believe!). Is America up to it? I don't think Washington is, but pretty soon there is gonna be a revolt if something isn't done and I know a person in Arkansas who might just lead it. :)

What's your candidate's view on healthcare? Do you know where your Senators and Congressmen stand on this issue? Maybe you should remind them that you know where YOU stand on this issue

P.S. For a look at the differences in drug costs between Canada and America and the reasons why , check out this link.

How good is our Health System?

"Yet would it surprise you to find that a study by the World Health Organization ranked the overall performance of the U.S. health care system 37th in the world?"

Tune in to Nightline (ABC) tonite for what promises to be an interesting look at the "cutting edge" of US Medicine. Perhaps we're only "cutting edge" for those who can afford it? And that's becoming fewer and fewer every day. Check it out.

And from Business Week comes some stats:

  • Avg worker today shells out $2412 in premiums for his health insurance. That represents 27% of the total $9068 bill that companies have to pay.

  • Ford Motor picks up 90% of the total tab for its active and retired workers,despite trimming some benefits.

  • In contrast, Wyndham International has scrapped plans that require no co-pays by employees and now require employees to pay 15-40% of the full cost, up to a max of $2500 or more.

  • 65% of companies with 3-199 employees offered health coverage this year, down from 71% in 1999, even as 98% of those firms with more than 200 workers continue to provide coverage.

  • The average premium per month families covered by companies now shell out is $200 - up 50% in the last 3 years

  • And the worst statistic - 43.6 million Americans have no insurance - up 2.4 million in just one year

Quote of the day:
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." (as a person who has daymares, I appreciate this quote. :) )
Edgar Allan Poe


Wednesday, October 22, 2003

A look at John Edwards Getting Personal

Interesting look at the democratic candidate. Quite likeable and does speak from the gut, which makes you instinctively trust him. Suspect people will be put off by his youthful looks, and lack of political experience. It's a fickle world out there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Onward Christian Soldiers

Wrong and Divisive (
" Gen. Boykin, in Army uniform, describes the United States as a "Christian nation" and says he knew he would capture a Somali warlord because "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Gen. Boykin casts the war against terrorism as a "spiritual battle," saying that "Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army."

Gee, I feel so much better now that I know we have the might of Christianity behind us! Ol' GW sure has assembled a fine bunch underneath himself. What's scary is that this crazy country will probably reelect him again out of some screwy notion of moral highmindedness and righteousness. Wonder where aggression fits into that concept?

Quote of the day:
"Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest."
Alexandre Dumas


Monday, October 20, 2003

Kerry on Hardball

Saw John Kerry on Hardball tonight. Very impressive. Great sense of humor, highly intelligent, poised, loads of experience and cares about the things I care about. Some may label him as a Massachusetts Liberal, but as he said, "Labels don't mean anything, it's what you stand for that counts". He gets my vote.

Heard Hilary might throw her hat in the ring. Scary thought - here come all the Clinton bashers again! She's intelligent, but I don't think she is very well liked by many - might get nominated on the Dem ticket, but wouldn't hold out hope for her beating Bush, strange as that may seem. I think the Republicans would pull out all the stops to beat her. But what do I know? She probably sees Bush as being highly vulnerable at the moment and may not want to wait another 4 years. And if Bush gets beat this time by some other Dem, she might conceivably have to wait 8 more years. So I wouldn't be surprised to see her jump in.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Uncovered a new trick in MyIE2!

Just by accident I discovered a new way to click on a link and have a new tab appear for that link, without leaving the page you are on. In the past, I had always right clicked the link and then chosen "Open in New Window", which means that it will appear as another tab in your tab bar.

I happened to be left clicking on a link and then decided I didn't want to open that link, so moved my mouse away from it and released the left mouse button. Lo and behold, a new tab appeared for that link. So now , rather than having to right click and click on "Open New Window", all I do is left click on the link and while holding the left mouse button down, just drag my cursor away from the link and release it, and voila - a new tab appears. Very quick and simple.

MyIE2 continues to impress me more and more. I get all the functionality of IE with all the add-ons of Mozilla - sort of the best of both worlds. If you haven't tried mouse gestures in MyIE2, give them a shot. For an explanation of them, just click on Help in MyIE2. Once you get good at them, it really speeds up browsing.

Coordination sorely needed in Washington

State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq: "A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials."

"Several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials until recently, although the Pentagon said they took the findings into account. The work is now being relied on heavily as occupation forces struggle to impose stability in Iraq."

It's really incredible how all these agencies fight against each other. First the CIA and the FBI and now State and the Pentagon. Someone needs to go up there and kick some butt. It is obvious from this article that many problems could have been avoided - thick headed hawks in the Pentagon were too stubborn to realize what was about to bite them. And my taxpayer dollars go for this?