Tuesday, March 30, 2010

America's Quiet Anger (from the American Spectator)


By James P. Gannon on 3.30.10 @ 6:07AM

There is a quiet anger boiling in America.

It is the anger of millions of hard-working citizens who pay their bills, send in their income taxes, maintain their homes and repay their mortgage loans -- and see their government reward those who do not.

It is the anger of small town and Middle American folks who have never been to Manhattan, who put their savings in a community bank and borrow from a local credit union, who watch Washington lawmakers and presidents of both parties hand billions in taxpayer bailouts to the reckless Wall Street titans who brought down the economy in 2008.

It is the fury of the voiceless, the powerless, the ordinary nobodies of Flyover Country who are ridiculed, preached to, satirized and insulted by the Celebrity Loudmouths of the two Left Coasts, the Jon Stewarts and Keith Olbermanns, the Paul Krugmans and their ilk.

It is the salted wound of the millions who see that ruling Democrats in Congress are not listening to them but are willfully ignoring public opinion and the verdict of recent elections in passing a huge new health care entitlement when the existing entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already going broke.

It is the frustrating helplessness of citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and the genius of the Constitution that they wrote, who actually believe the words of the Constitution mean what they say, not more and not less. They who watch politicians and the courts stretch and bend that Constitution -- finding "rights" not enumerated, powers never granted, meanings unimagined -- believe that their country is being redefined without their consent.

Most of the angry are not out marching in the streets, waving signs or shouting into bullhorns. And they are not smashing windows or phoning death threats to politicians. They are simply waking up angry in the morning, and going to bed angry at night. And their resentment is multiplied by the media's efforts to portray them all as dangerous, crazy people, and by the effort of certain Democrats to tar them with brush of violent intent.

They are embittered, too, by the rhetoric of a triumphant president who turns on its head Winston Churchill's heroic attitude promising defiance in defeat but magnanimity in victory. For a president of a deeply divided country, defiance in victory is not an endearing posture. It has all the persuasive charm of a Chad Ochocinco victory dance in the end zone of the opponent's stadium.

These quietly angry people gather in their churches while their religions are called divisive and their beliefs are labeled as bigotry, and they pray for a better day. They talk among themselves in their Main Street cafes, at the Rotary club or at their kids' softball games, seeking others who understand their frustration and will not respond with arrogant dismissal.

They are tired of being told they are too stupid to understand the country's complex problems, too rooted in the past to find solutions, too selfish to share what they have worked for with everyone else who wants it.

They are not reaching for guns or for pitchforks. They are holding their anger within, waiting for their time, watching those in power over-reach and over-indulge.

Their wound is deep, and it will not be salved by more presidential speeches, Congressional hand-outs, or promises of wonderful things to come. They no longer believe any of that. Their quiet rage abides, waiting till it can be expressed in that silent place behind the curtain where the ballot lists the names that they have now committed to an angry memory.

Letter to the Editor

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James P. Gannon is a retired former Wall Street Journal reporter and newspaper editor. He lives in Virginia.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Point of No Return?

By Thomas Sowell

With the passage of the legislation allowing the federal government to take control of the medical care system of the United States, a major turning point has been reached in the dismantling of the values and institutions of America.

Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels-- as momentous as that is-- does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinized legislation.

If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an Executive Order of the President, to do that.

With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?

Despite whatever "firewalls" or "lockboxes" there may be to shield our medical records from prying political eyes, nothing is as inevitable as leaks in Washington. Does anyone still remember the hundreds of confidential FBI files that were "accidentally" delivered to the White House during Bill Clinton's administration?

Even before that, J. Edgar Hoover's extensive confidential FBI files on numerous Washington power holders made him someone who could not be fired by any President of the United States, much less by any Attorney General, who was nominally his boss.

The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a roadmap for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants.

Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for Congressional Democrats and for the President himself. But that is far from certain.

True, President Obama's approval numbers in the polls have fallen below 50 percent, and that of Congress is down around 10 percent. But nobody votes for Congress as a whole, and the President will not be on the ballot until 2012.

They say that, in politics, overnight is a lifetime. Just last month, it was said that the election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts doomed the health care bill. Now some of the same people are saying that passing the health care bill will doom the administration and the Democrats' control of Congress. As an old song said, "It ain't necessarily so."

The voters will have had no experience with the actual, concrete effect of the government takeover of medical care at the time of either the 2010 Congressional elections or the 2012 Presidential elections. All they will have will be conflicting rhetoric-- and you can depend on the mainstream media to go along with the rhetoric of those who passed this medical care bill.

The ruthless and corrupt way this bill was forced through Congress on a party-line vote, and in defiance of public opinion, provides a road map for how other "historic" changes can be imposed by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

What will it matter if Obama's current approval rating is below 50 percent among the current voting public, if he can ram through new legislation to create millions of new voters by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants? That can be enough to make him a two-term President, who can appoint enough Supreme Court justices to rubber-stamp further extensions of his power.

When all these newly minted citizens are rounded up on election night by ethnic organization activists and labor union supporters of the administration, that may be enough to salvage the Democrats' control of Congress as well.

The last opportunity that current American citizens may have to determine who will control Congress may well be the election in November of this year. Off-year elections don't usually bring out as many voters as Presidential election years. But the 2010 election may be the last chance to halt the dismantling of America. It can be the point of no return.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthy Canadian Socialists

Monday, March 22, 2010


British and Canadian health care are socialized disasters. Rationed care, deficit spending, primitive equipment and technology, and a lack of consumer choice are just a few atrocities of government-run health care. Canada operates as a single payer health care system—government is the payer, the regulator, the ultimate decider. Rationed treatment and interminable waiting lists kill tens of thousands of people every year. And it only gets worse. 815,000 Canadians are currently waiting for medical care; if the United States had the same health care system almost 8 million Americans would currently be waiting for care.

The Fraser Institute conducts an annual study called Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada, one of the most comprehensive studies on Canadian waiting lists. Across 12 specialties and 10 provinces, wait times for surgical and therapeutic treatments average 18 weeks; the wait following a general practitioner’s referral exceeds 17 weeks. Two of the worst procedures are neurosurgery (7 months) and orthopedic surgery (10 months). Canadian oncologists recommend cancer patients receive radiation treatment within 3.4 weeks of diagnosis, yet over half wait more than 6 weeks. Waiting lists in Canada are so extravagant that doctors send a third of their patients abroad, most of which receive treatment in the United States.

Patients in Ontario have it rough. The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies found that 40 percent of severely disabled patients wait over 13 months for surgery. Delayed treatment leads to prolonged pain and diminished quality of life. Think about having pain in your knee, so severe that you can barely walk, and having to wait a year for a knee replacement. You may be out of work because your job requires physical ability; you may lose relationships because you are confined to your home; and you may become untreatable because your condition has worsened. All of this because the government forces you to wait 12 months for treatment.

Disclaimer: if you live in British Columbia it is recommended that you do not become ill. With a population of 640,000, how many MRI scanners do you suppose Vancouver Island has? On the entire island…one! Even worse, the facility that performs the scans works on bankers’ hours, allowed to perform no more than 3,000 scans a year. Patients wait over a year for a simple diagnostic test. With good reason, BC physicians are outraged. A woman suspected of having an acoustic neuroma, a slow-growing brain tumor, was put on a waiting list after her case was deemed “elective”. For months she waited, wondering if a tumor was growing inside her brain. Her head was a ticking time bomb.

David Gratzer, a Canadian physician and author of the book Code Blue, describes the crisis in BC: “Patients suspected of having multiple sclerosis were also forced to wait. Imagine the sword of MS hanging over your head for a year. In an ironic twist, provincial regulations require that MS patients, in order to receive certain drug therapies, must have the disease confirmed first by an MRI scan.” In his book, Gratzer addresses how Canada’s socialized health care system has affected some of his close friends:

My own views on waiting lists have been darkly coloured by the experiences of a few family friends: a young Winnipeg woman with severe abdominal pain was expected to wait six months for the pain-alleviating gall bladder surgery; a community college teacher from southern Ontario suffered heart trouble and was forced to take a year off work while he waited for bypass surgery; an older woman with severe sleeping problems was put on a two-year waiting list to see a respiratory specialist.

In socialized health care systems, as the need to ration care rises, so does spending. Between 1993 and 2003, despite a 21 percent increase in spending, waiting lists in Canada increased by 70 percent. Free markets adjust to increasing costs through resilience and natural reformation, while socialized markets flood the system with pools of new spending. Bureaucracy thwarts efforts to increase efficiency and productivity, as excess funding is dumped into a bottomless pit. And as Canadian health care proceeds further from pre-socialization, government waste and inefficiency only intensifies.

Patients in Vancouver need MRI scans, they need kidney dialysis, and they need vascular surgery. But wasteful spending and government bureaucracy stand in the way of patients and their health. The province is in a financial crisis. A leaked document from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority announced they will have to cut 6,250 surgeries and close 25 percent of its operating rooms, due to a plummeting $90 million deficit. Furthermore, a government proposal provoked a plan to downsize staff, increase fees, and limit services and treatment options.

Congressman Mike Rogers’ (R – Michigan), in his opening statement on health care reform, described the inevitable demise of a government-run system:
According to the [National Cancer Intelligence Centre] for the United Kingdom and the Canadian Cancer Registry, here's the trade-off that they picked by having government run health care: If you get prostate cancer you have a less chance of survivability than you do in the United States. And that's the same for skin cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia and the list goes on and on and on.

The Toronto Star reported a story of a man in Ontario who had a hole in his head the size of a baseball. With severe discomfort, emotionally and physically, he was forced to wait a year for surgery. A movie short, A Short Course in Brain Surgery, recounts the unfortunate event of a Canadian man who, suspected of having a brain tumor, was put on a 4-month waiting list for an MRI scan. Naturally, panicked that the tumor was growing, he crossed the southern border into the United States. Twenty four hours later he got the MRI. On arrival back into Canada, his specialist put him on another 4-month waiting list for neurosurgery. Again he headed south, and had the tumor removed the following day.

Another victim of the Canadian health care system was Janice Fraser, who needed surgery for a urinary disease. To control costs, the hospital specializing in her particular surgery performs only one surgery a month. Janice was behind 31 other people, which meant she would have to wait three years. Because her surgery was delayed so long her bladder developed severe infections and had to be removed immediately. As a result, she was forced to wear a urine bag for the rest of her life. Unlike the rare, isolated events in the United States—that the liberal media love to exploit—these horror stories are prevalent in the Canadian health care system. They happen all the time. Rationing is cruel and unfair, and as the “protector of the people”, government is the culprit.

How Far Down The Rabbit Hole Must We Go?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

THE Most Important Chart of the CENTURY (From Nathan’s Economic Edge)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Posted Here

The latest U.S. Treasury Z1 Flow of Funds report was released on March 11, 2010, bringing the data current through the end of 2009. What follows is the most important chart of your lifetime. It relegates almost all modern economists and economic theory to the dustbin of history. Any economic theory, formula, or relationship that does not consider this non-linear relationship of DEBT and phase transition is destined to fail.

It explains the "jobless" recoveries of the past and how each recent economic cycle produces higher money figures, yet lower employment. It explains why we are seeing debt driven events that circle the globe. It explains the psychological uneasiness that underpins this point in history, the elephant in the room that nobody sees or can describe.

This is a very simple chart. It takes the change in GDP and divides it by the change in Debt. What it shows is how much productivity is gained by infusing $1 of debt into our debt backed money system.

Back in the early 1960s a dollar of new debt added almost a dollar to the nation’s output of goods and services. As more debt enters the system the productivity gained by new debt diminishes. This produced a path that was following a diminishing line targeting ZERO in the year 2015. This meant that we could expect that each new dollar of debt added in the year 2015 would add NOTHING to our productivity.

Then a funny thing happened along the way. Macroeconomic DEBT SATURATION occurred causing a phase transition with our debt relationship. This is because total income can no longer support total debt. In the third quarter of 2009 each dollar of debt added produced NEGATIVE 15 cents of productivity, and at the end of 2009, each dollar of new debt now SUBTRACTS 45 cents from GDP!

This is mathematical PROOF that debt saturation has occurred. Continuing to add debt into a saturated system, where all money is debt, leads only to future defaults and to higher unemployment.

This is the dilemma created by our top down debt backed money structure. Because all money is backed by a liability, and carries interest, it guarantees mathematically that there will be losers and that the system will eventually reach the natural limits, the ability of incomes to service debt.

The data for the diminishing productivity of debt chart comes from the U.S. Treasury’s latest Z1 data, the complete report is posted below:

On page two of that report is the following table showing the Growth of Non Financial Debt:

I included Financial debt onto the end of the table, that data comes from page 14 of the Z1 report.

This table makes clear what is happening. Business, household, and financial debt is trying to cleanse itself, to bring the level of debt back within the ability of incomes to support it. Our governments, armed with people who cannot explain the common sense behind debt saturation, are attempting to compensate by producing prolific amounts of Governmental debt.

They feel they must do this because if they do not, then debt and money – since debt backs our money – would both decrease and that would cause the economy to slow. But by adding money, and debt, they have created a sovereign issue where our nation’s income cannot possibly service our nation’s debt. In just the month of February, for example, our nation took in $107 billion, but spent $328 billion, a $221 billion shortfall. That one month shortfall exceeds all the combined shortfalls of the entire Nixon Administration – one month.

This is like an individual earning $5,000 but spending $15,000 a month. Would you lend your money to such an individual?

Last year we spent just under $400 billion on interest on our current debt, plus we spend another $1.5 Trillion buying down rates via Freddie, Fannie, and Quantitative Easing. That’s $1.9 Trillion spent on interest, most of which wound up in the hands of the central banks and their surrogates. Compared to our $2.2 Trillion in income, interest expense last year nearly took it all. That means that nearly all your productive effort used to pay Federal taxes last year were transferred to the central banks.

Modern monetary theory does not understand, nor does it correctly describe the debt backed money world in which we live. Velocity, for example, slows as debt saturation occurs. This is only common sense, and yet the formulas do not account for the bad math of debt, nor its non linear function. Velocity is blamed partially on the psychology of “consumers.” What nonsense. It is as mechanical as the engine in your car, it was designed that way. Once people, businesses, and governments become saturated with debt, new money/ debt when introduced can only be used to service prior existing debt.

Thus money creation at the saturation point stops adding to productive efforts and becomes a roll-over affair with only the financial services industry profiting via interest and fees. In other words, money goes out and circles right back around to the banks instead of rippling through a healthy non saturated economy. If you cannot follow that most simple logic, then going to Harvard will not help you.

Below is a chart of the Gross Federal Debt, it is now $12.6 Trillion dollars and headed straight up, a classic parabolic rise:

Below is a chart of the Gross Federal Debt expressed in year-over-year change in billions of dollars. The same phase transition of debt saturation is clear as a bell.

Below is a chart of Federal Net Outlays, parabolic and again headed straight up:

Clearly this is not sustainable and that means that change to our monetary system is rapidly approaching. No, it will not be left to your children or your grandchildren. It is an immediate problem and fortunately there is an immediate solution. That solution is called “Freedom’s Vision.” It can be found at SwarmUSA.com.

That chart of diminishing returns is the window to understanding why humankind is trapped in a central banker debt backed money box. No money for NASA manned space flight – NASA’s total budget a puny $18 billion in comparison to the $1.9 Trillion that went to service the bankers last year. One half the schools closing in Kansas City, states whose debts and budget deficits seem insurmountable all pale in comparison to how much money went to service the use of our own money system.

It doesn’t have to be like that, in fact it’s a ridiculous notion that the people of the United States, or any country, should pay private individuals for the use of their money system. Ridiculous!

It’s difficult to see this from inside the box, so let’s look at what happened to Iceland to illustrate. The central banks of the world created financial engineered products and brought them to the banks of Iceland. These products created a boom in the amount of credit. Prices of everything rose, and the people of Iceland then had no choice but to go along for the bubble ride. Then with incomes no longer able to service the bubble debt, the bubble collapsed.

To “save the day,” the IMF and central bankers around the world rushed in to “rescue” the people, banks, and government of Iceland. They did this by offering loans... documents that create money simply by signing a contract of debt servitude. That contract demanded ownership of Iceland’s infrastructure such as their geothermal electrical generating plants. It also demanded the future productivity of the people of Iceland in that they should work and pay high taxes for decades to pay back this “debt.” Debt that they did not create or agree to service in the first place!

There were some wise people who saw through this central banker game and started a movement. They DEMANDED that the President of Iceland put the debt servitude to a vote and the people wisely said, “Central Bankers Pound Sand!”

Thus they now control their own destiny, their future productive efforts still belong to them.

It’s easy to see from the outside looking in, but it’s not so easy to see that it's EXACTLY the same thing occurring in the United States and no one is rising up to stop it. No one, that is, except the movement of people at SwarmUSA.com.

To all the naysayers who think the people do not have the power to make the change, I say take a look at history and how humankind has overcome its obstacles to progress with each new step. Mankind is now teetering between the brink and the dawn of a new renaissance. A new renaissance is coming because mankind is about to free itself from the chains of needless debt that are holding humanity back.

Why Ontario's health-care system is allergic to efficiency

Toronto Sun ^ | 2010-03-21 | John Snobelen

Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010 10:08:03 AM by Clive

If you throw a stick for your dog and he just sits there looking at you, it doesn’t mean much. But if you keep throwing that stick for 10 years and the dog still just looks at you, there might be a message. The dog doesn’t want to play stick.

That sort of profound conclusion is missing from the health care debate.

Fifteen years ago Premier Mike Harris came to office determined to get a smart card for health. One card that contained all of a person’s health records and information. It was a great idea.

Harris also wanted patients to get, and sign for, an invoice for the health services they had received. That seemed like a pretty common sense way to make sure that people actually received the services OHIP got billed for.

It also seemed sensible for people to know exactly how much their health care cost.

Harris was not famous for giving up on good ideas, but when he left office eight years later there was no smart card and no patient invoice.

When Dalton McGuinty entered the premier’s office five years ago he wanted eHealth, electronic records that could follow a patient, reducing administrative costs and making the system safer for patients. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Five years and a billion dollars later the health system is still an information technology wasteland.

There might be a message here. Maybe, just maybe, the health care system doesn’t want to be more efficient.

That’s not to say that docs and nurses don’t want to be freed from mountains of paperwork or that hospital administrators don’t want to ... well, administer, but the incentives in the system don’t call for change.

Who pays for redundant tests or misdiagnosis? Who pays for an paramedic team to wait, sometimes for hours, for a patient to be admitted to emergency? Who pays for lost records? Who pays for improper or fraudulent billing?

You do. And until someone in health care has some skin in the cost side of the business, being more efficient and effective will be a nice thought, not a necessity.

Know the costs

If we want affordable health care we are going to have to get the people who pay for it, that would be you and I, to have a little more interest in the costs. That sounds like real public ownership to me.

But our version of public health care does not embrace you as a decision maker. Our system was designed to treat, not inform, you. You don’t need to know what a procedure costs or what the alternatives are. You don’t need to know what an aspirin dispensed in an emergency room costs. You don’t need to know much; in fact the less you know the smoother the system runs.

There are lots of ways to put people into a position of power in the health system. Some form of deductible is one of the most common suggestions. But every patient empowering initiative has been resisted by the medical community.

Every time a fundamental change to the health care system is suggested the same old tired arguments are dusted off and trotted out. But the truth is we are out of money and the cost of care has to come down. Spending 46¢ of every provincial dollar on health care is too much — and that number is expected to rise to 70¢ within 12 years if nothing is done.

Some dogs won’t chase sticks and the health care system won’t lower costs. That means you and I are going to have to be more involved or the government will continue to make health care choices for us. And, trust me here, that dog won’t hunt.

ClimateGate Goes Back to 1980

 By Duncan Davidson|Mar 19, 2010, 1:31 PM|Author's Website 


Those of you who still believe that the ClimateGate scandal was just a bunch of emails in England should read this article. James Hansen of GISS appears to have systematically adjusted the historical temperature record to remove a cold patch in the ’70s in order to exaggerate the rise since. The amount of change of 0.6 degrees is for one decade is close to the measured change for the whole century. This is vividly seen in these three snapshots of his data being modified:

ClimateGate Goes Back to 1980

Watch how the cooling trend of the 1960’s to 1970’s is steadily adjusted up so that 0.3 degrees cooler gradually becomes 0.03 warmer (notice the red and blue horizontal lines in the graphs above).

Mathews Graph 1976: 1955 – 1965 was around 0.3C warmer than 1970’s

Hansen/GISS 1980: 1955 – 1965 was around 0.1C warmer than 1970’s

Hansen/GISS 1987: 1955 – 1965 was around 0.05C warmer than 1970’s

Hansen/GISS 2007: 1955 – 1965 was around 0.03C cooler than 1970’s

Here is what we had thought was the historic temperature, back in the mid-1970s before the deception began. Note how much warmer the ’30s and ’40s looked then, and how in the charts above it shrinks in significance:

ClimateGate Goes Back to 1980

The article goes on to explain how weather balloon data created the prior temperature record, and is considered very accurate. It also matches very closely to satellite data, which started in 1979. Significantly, satellite data has diverged from the surface temperature data, showing less warming, pointing to the deception.

The whole AGW edifice is built on surface temperature from three sources: Hansen’s GISS, the UK’s HadCRUt and the NOAA. The GISS data is now seen to be manipulated; the HadCRUt data is suspect since it is from the main sources of the ClimateGate emails; and NOAA is even warmer than both of them, suggesting manipulation there too.

Much of the rest of climate science is built on data which is now suspect. What is now seen as Garbage In, Garbage Out had been Garbage In, Gospel Out.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A doctor's perspective of Obamacare - Healthcare delivery bankruptcy Please read


Posted on Saturday, March 20, 2010 3:33:54 AM by schwingdoc

I have been a doctor for 19 years. 4 years in the Army and 15 years in private practice. I belong to a doctor owned group of approx 350 doctors in a multi-specialty practice. We employ 4000 people. In addition to being touted as one of the very best clinics in the nation (Acclaim Award winners) we have donated over a million dollars to the local city in grants, scholarships and charity. Regularly voted as top places to work by our employees. US healthcare at its very best. I am very proud of what we do and we provide tremendous care and value to our patients.

We seek to maintain a 3-5% profit margin annually. We operate in the very precarious business model of enormous volume, low margin. As any business owner knows, this is high-risk-low-margin of error model. Consequently any small changes to cash flow vectors, mandates widespread internal policy and practice corrections. Tiny changes = massive consequences.

As many people may know, Medicare and Medicaid, the current government paid 'insurer' - pays approximately 70% of the cost of care. ie its more expensive for doctors to care for these patients than we get reimbursed for. Say you are a contractor. Imagine the government mandating a significant number of your jobs whereby your out of pocket costs are ~ 30% + greater than your income. That is Medicare and Medicaid. In perspective, our group alone, year 2008 lost ~$12 million caring for our government patients. This is despite taking over 1 1/2 years to help move our fee-for-service traditional Medicare patients over to Medicare Advantage plans, which are privatized versions of Medicare that reimburse better...still not covering costs...but lessen our losses significantly.

Many people ask, why do private health insurance premiums continue to escalate? The liberals want you to believe its a combination of profiteering and waste. When in fact its due mainly to two other processes. The first is obvious: every year it costs more to care for patients and premiums are trying to keep up with this rising cost. But secondly, and less often discussed, is that every year private delivery systems lose more and more money caring for our government patients. Someone has to make up for these losses in order for your hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies, group practices to remain solvent and profitable. Every year these delivery systems open their books to the private healthcare insurers - and the insurers must - they must in order for the entire system at large to stay functional, increase the amount they pay out to cover these losses. If they dont, both the delivery systems and the insurers die. So to keep the boat afloat, the payouts by private insurers MUST increase to subsidize the ever increasing losses doctors incur by taking care of our government patients. So, in a way, you could say that your increasing premiums are a tax that you are paying to cover the losses that are Medicare and Medicaid. It's a clear and inarguable private subsidation of government cost. Enough said on that.

So to really feel the consequence and full impact of Obamacare, one must simply see the economic dominos. Most people can see how this bill will rapidly reduce private insurance plans and rapidly expand government plan patients. And take whatever number that is being reported, and multiply that by 3. That has been the experience in both Mass and Hawaii. Both government plans were overwhelmed with the enrollees as they significantly underestimated the government migration.

Ok, so now- how can anyone not see the obvious outcome? Government patients = significant loss of profitability. Initally the private insurers will do their best to continue to subsidize this loss, and there will be a huge escalation of premiums. But within a few months this will be unsustainable. Its a cycle that cannot be stopped. Higher premiums = higher recidivism to governmnet plans = higher premiums etc. Within months, every single hospital, every single doctor office, clinic, nursing home, pharmacy - every delivery system reliant on private insurers will no longer be profitable. ie they will go bankrupt. These will most certainly be the headlines to come: Hospital XYZ shockingly announces bankruptcy; Hospitals can no longer remain open; Clinics across the country file for bankruptcy; Loss of Pharmacy access shocks the Nation; Doctors going bankrupt en masse creating healthcare delivery and access to care crises; Where can you go to get care?; Loss of access reported Nationwide

Yes a crises. A crises of access due to widespread business failure. You will not be able to get care for as long as it takes for the government to devise their emergency bailout package and as long as it takes for those insufficient dollars to try and get those doors back open again. But it will be too late, and it will be too expensive. There is absolutely no way that our government can capitalize our entire healthcare system. Try as they might, only a percentage of what we have now will ultimately survive. And those that do survive will be a shell of what they once were. The conditions will be frightening, and the consequnces will be dire. The degree of disarray will be unimaginable and the underlap in access to care will be gaping.

I will not expand this discussion to predict what this means to our economy at large because I am not an economist. But anyone can be close to predicting what I am suggesting. Factors such as loss of work hours due to illnesses not treated, pressure on all the other private business models; let alone the out and out loss of enourmous capital via the bankruptcy of this entire healthcare industry can clearly be the death nail to our country and imo is a clear and present threat to our very sovereignty. This can make the housing collapse look like a speed bump. This will be massive and rapid and lethal and complete.

I am not certain why this very obvious outcome has not been openly discussed momre often - ie the rapid and massive bankruptcy of all of your health care providers and their delivery systems. But this is the inevitable outcome should this bill ever become law and inplemented.

Thanks for reading. Please ping, copy and email your friends and try and get this word out. I know it's a very late hour - but I do think the implementation is not an inevitability as multiple lawsuits may keep it on hold for a while - so public opinion will still be vital for many more months to come.

Unbelievable times. Please do your part and email and make the phone calls. This plea comes an honest and heartfelt love of our country and its citizens, and an honest and heartfelt love of my profession, avocation and the welfare of my patients.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Simple Chemistry and the Real Greenhouse Effect.


1. Most of the Sun’s radiation that gets to the Earth’s lower atmosphere passes through substantially unabsorbed.

2. Most of the radiation is then absorbed on contact with the Earth’s surface. This includes the majority water and the minority land.

3. Most of the Earth’s surface is either water or moist vegetation.

Most of the radiation from the sun is converted to infrared wavelengths at or near the surface.

The water molecules absorb the infrared radiation causing increased vibration within the individual water molecules. This is converted into translational energy during intermolecular collisions.

Water is an unusual compound. Its molecular weight (18) is half that of nitrogen (28) and less than half oxygen (32). Water should by all rights be a gas.

The reason water is liquid or ice normally, is that water molecules are naturally attracted to each other and form large aggregates which are substantially heavier than air.

When liquid water absorbs infrared radiation or is otherwise stimulated it vibrates more quickly and more intensely. This breaks down that tendency to aggregate.

In fact, in order for an associated water molecule to break free and escape into the air, a specific amount of energy must be absorbed. This is called the Latent Heat of Vaporization.

In fact, this is a very large amount of energy as anyone who has boiled water knows.

It takes 1 calorie of heat to raise the temperature of liquid water by 1 Celsius degree.

It take 539 calories to change one gram of water to steam.

Phase changes

Transitions between solid, liquid, and gaseous phases typically involve large amounts of energy compared to the specific heat. If heat were added at a constant rate to a mass of ice to take it through its phase changes to liquid water and then to steam, the energies required to accomplish the phase changes (called the latent heat of fusion and latent heat of vaporization ) would lead to plateaus in the temperature vs time graph. The graph below presumes that the pressure is one standard atmosphere.

A more complete explanation of the above

All of the energy (539 cal/gm) must be lost by exchange or radiation in order for the steam to condense.


Enormous amounts of energy (principally translational and vibrational) are carried from the surface into the atmosphere by fast moving free or loosely associated water molecules.

Collisions between water molecules and the majority nitrogen and oxygen molecules transfer the energy to the greater atmosphere. As the energy level of the water molecules diminishes, the probability that water molecules will reaggregate increases. This leads to condensation and has the effect of transferring that 539 calories per gram to the rest of the atmosphere.

Now for the Kicker!

Carbon dioxide does NOT form aggregates. It is not lighter than air and thus does not rise quickly. There is no phase change when carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide carries less than half the heat per molecule compared to water.

One gram of Carbon Dioxide heated at the surface by incident sunlight carries (2 * 539 = 1078) 1078 times less energy into the atmosphere than one gram of water.

Carbon dioxide represents 0.0387 % of the atmosphere. Water in the lower atmosphere represents 1% to 4% or 25 to 100 times the amount of carbon dioxide.

Combining the two statements above, Water is (25 * 1078 = 27,175) to (100 * 1078 = 108,700) times more responsible for greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Artificial Stupidity

Written by Thomas Sowell

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 09:50

indocotrinationA woman with a petition went among the crowds attending a state fair, asking people to sign her petition demanding the banning of dihydroxymonoxide. She said it was in our lakes and streams, and now it was in our sweat and urine and tears.
She collected hundreds of signatures to ban dihydroxymonoxide — a fancy chemical name for water. A couple of comedians were behind this ploy. But there is nothing funny about its implications. It is one of the grim and dangerous signs of our times.
This little episode revealed how conditioned we have become, responding like Pavlov's dog when we hear a certain sound — in this case, the sound of some politically correct crusade.

People are all born ignorant but they are not born stupid. Much of the stupidity we see today is induced by our educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities. In a high-tech age that has seen the creation of artificial intelligence by computers, we are also seeing the creation of artificial stupidity by people who call themselves educators.

Educational institutions created to pass on to the next generation the knowledge, experience and culture of the generations that went before them have instead been turned into indoctrination centers to promote whatever notions, fashions or ideologies happen to be in vogue among today's intelligentsia.
Many conservatives have protested against the specifics of the things with which students are being indoctrinated. But that is not where the most lasting harm is done. Many, if not most, of the leading conservatives of our times were on the left in their youth. These have included Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan and the whole neoconservative movement.
The experiences of life can help people outgrow whatever they were indoctrinated with. What may persist, however, is the lazy habit of hearing one side of an issue and being galvanized into action without hearing the other side — and, more fundamentally, not having developed any mental skills that would enable you to systematically test one set of beliefs against another.
It was once the proud declaration of many educators that "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." But far too many of our teachers and professors today are teaching their students what to think, about everything from global warming to the new trinity of "race, class and gender."
Even if all the conclusions with which they indoctrinate their students were 100 percent correct, that would still not be equipping students with the mental skills to weigh opposing views for themselves, in order to be prepared for new and unforeseeable issues that will arise over their lifetimes, after they leave the schools and colleges.
Many of today's "educators" not only supply students with conclusions, they promote the idea that students should spring into action because of these prepackaged conclusions — in other words, vent their feelings and go galloping off on crusades, without either a knowledge of what is said by those on the other side or the intellectual discipline to know how to analyze opposing arguments.
When we see children in elementary schools out carrying signs in demonstrations, we are seeing the kind of mindless groupthink that causes adults to sign petitions they don't understand or — worse yet — follow leaders they don't understand, whether to the White House, the Kremlin or Jonestown.
A philosopher once said that the most important knowledge is knowledge of one's own ignorance. That is the knowledge that too many of our schools and colleges are failing to teach our young people.

It takes a certain amount of knowledge just to understand the extent of one's own ignorance. But our "educators" have given assignments to children who are not yet a decade old to write letters to members of Congress, or to Presidents, spouting off on issues ranging from nuclear weapons to medical care.
Will Rogers once said that it was not ignorance that was so bad but "all the things we know that ain't so." But our classroom indoctrinators are getting students to think that they know after hearing only one side of an issue. It is artificial stupidity.

Thomas SowellThomas Sowell graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University (1958) and went on to receive his master's in economics from Columbia University (1959) and a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago (1968). He is the author of 28 books including his most recent, Intellectuals and Society. Currently he is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.


Monday, March 8, 2010

The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide


8 03 2010

Guest post by David Archibald

The greenhouse gasses keep the Earth 30° C warmer than it would otherwise be without them in the atmosphere, so instead of the average surface temperature being -15° C, it is 15° C. Carbon dioxide contributes 10% of the effect so that is 3° C. The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 ppm. So roughly, if the heating effect was a linear relationship, each 100 ppm contributes 1° C. With the atmospheric concentration rising by 2 ppm annually, it would go up by 100 ppm every 50 years and we would all fry as per the IPCC predictions.

But the relationship isn’t linear, it is logarithmic. In 2006, Willis Eschenbach posted this graph on Climate Audit showing the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide relative to atmospheric concentration:

And this graphic of his shows carbon dioxide’s contribution to the whole greenhouse effect:

I recast Willis’ first graph as a bar chart to make the concept easier to understand to the layman:

Lo and behold, the first 20 ppm accounts for over half of the heating effect to the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm, by which time carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas. One thing to bear in mind is that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 got down to 180 ppm during the glacial periods of the ice age the Earth is currently in (the Holocene is an interglacial in the ice age that started three million years ago).

Plant growth shuts down at 150 ppm, so the Earth was within 30 ppm of disaster. Terrestrial life came close to being wiped out by a lack of CO2 in the atmosphere. If plants were doing climate science instead of us humans, they would have a different opinion about what is a dangerous carbon dioxide level.

Some of the IPCC climate models predict that temperature will rise up to 6° C as a consequence of the doubling of the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. So let’s add that to the graph above and see what it looks like:

The IPCC models water vapour-driven positive feedback as starting from the pre-industrial level. Somehow the carbon dioxide below the pre-industrial level does not cause this water vapour-driven positive feedback. If their water vapour feedback is a linear relationship with carbon dioxide, then we should have seen over 2° C of warming by now. We are told that the Earth warmed by 0.7° C over the 20th Century. Where I live – Perth, Western Australia – missed out on a lot of that warming.

Nothing happened up to the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976, which gave us a 0.4° warming, and it has been flat for the last four decades.

Let’s see what the IPCC model warming looks like when it is plotted as a cumulative bar graph:

The natural heating effect of carbon dioxide is the blue bars and the IPCC projected anthropogenic effect is the red bars. Each 20 ppm increment above 280 ppm provides about 0.03° C of naturally occurring warming and 0.43° C of anthropogenic warming. That is a multiplier effect of over thirteen times. This is the leap of faith required to believe in global warming.

The whole AGW belief system is based upon positive water vapour feedback starting from the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm and not before. To paraphrase George Orwell, anthropogenic carbon dioxide molecules are more equal than the naturally occurring ones. Much, much more equal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Economic Reality Check…

Nathan's Economic Edge ^

Once again just perusing the latest updates from the St. Louis Fed…

Many people get all wrapped around the axle about debt to GDP statistics. This is a complete Red Herring as comparing our Federal Government’s debt to the productivity of the nation is exactly the same as comparing your personal debt to the productivity of your neighborhood. They are unrelated.

What is completely related and totally relevant is DEBT to INCOME. In fact, in regards to debt, income is the only thing that really matters. Our Nation’s Income is crashing as shown in this chart expressed in year over year (yoy) change in Billions of dollars:

Our Current Government Receipts rose to approximately $2.5 Trillion and has collapsed to less than $2.2 Trillion, again expressed here in yoy change in Billions:

At the same time that our receipts are falling, our Federal Net Outlays are in an exponential growth phase, spiraling up in a now very out-of-control fashion. This is THE most important chart of the modern era! When this chart begins to roll over, and it will, it will mark the end of the last leg of support for our debt crippled economy:

The combination of rising outlays and falling receipts produces a negative Government Savings rate, clearly not sustainable but on an accelerating downward plummet into the depths of nation changing events that are right on the nearby horizon:

You are being told that the economy is improving, the only “improvement” is the amount being spent by the government. Take a look at the Consumption of Fixed Capital, one of the components of GNP:

Sales are up, REALLY? Below is a chart of Real Final Sales of Domestic Products yoy in Billions. Not only is it not positive, but it is still crashing:

The tell in regards to sales is in the tax collected on sales. State and Local Government Sales Taxes are now down about 5% on a year over year basis:

Here’s the same chart expressed in yoy change in Billions of dollars – no change of path, not even a wiggle or a waiver:

How about Imports and Exports? Aren’t we being told that they are increasing again? Absolutely not the case, again, nothing but collapse. Take a look at Exports of Goods and Services expressed in yoy change in Billions:

Now take a look at the yoy change in Real Imports of Goods and Services:

Historic collapse, take a look at the magnitude of the collapse and how far back those charts go in time. You can talk up the “recovery” all you want, you can call it a “recession” all you want, but lip service does not change what is occurring on those charts and to our debt saturated economy.

We let the Central Bankers take over our money supply and we let them back all our money with debt at their benefit and at our expense. It is time to change that equation around!

A Military Model for Welfare Reform

For centuries the Military system has taken young inexperienced people and turned them into proficient citizens.  It has used a time tested model.  It is purpose directed and continually monitors its effectiveness.  It is time for us to use the methods we have learned to address the problem of a growing class of citizens whose net productivity is negative to our nation and society.

The military uses self contained bases as the foundation of its system.  These are secure facilities with most of the necessities of life provided on base.  Enrollees are housed in common facilities for which they become responsible during their stay.  They eat in common messes where good nutrition is practiced.  They are required to maintain their physical fitness, their appearance and behavior at general standards.

They are required to actively learn a trade or skill set as well as common communication skills.  Today there is emphasis on computer skills as well.

Virtually all graduates are employable.  They have acquired the knowledge, skills, and personal discipline that make them desirable as citizens and workers.

If we require welfare recipients, other than very short term cases, to enter a program designed along these lines, we will be able to eliminate the tendency for people to go on long term welfare roles.  On base schools would be available for the children.  There would be on base medical and dental services as well recreational facilities.  Male and female residences would be separated. 

Funding for this system is already available considering the enormous public cost of the current dispersed welfare network.