Sunday, January 18, 2015
I have been including in my postings here occasional comments on history because I believe that you need to know how we got to where we are today before you can understand what is going on in the world today. Leftists, of course shrink from knowing anything about history because of the way it falsifies their claims. In particular it shows that their "solutions" to the problems of today have already been tried and found wanting. They are like a dog returning to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11).
My offering today is an excerpt from psychohistorian Richard A. Koenigberg. He shows where collectivism leads and in so doing displays how alien to conservatism Nazism was. There was NOTHING "Right wing" about it. It was totally alien to the individual liberty concerns that have always been basic to conservative thought
Robert J. Lifton's book, The Nazi Doctors (1986) provides evidence that the fantasy that drove Hitler's thinking drove the thinking of other Nazis as well. Lifton spent several years interviewing 29 men who had been significantly involved at high levels with Nazi medicine. Lifton's reconstruction of the deep-structure of Nazi ideology presented in his book is based upon these interviews, combined with an analysis of written accounts, documents, speeches, diaries, and letters.
The central fantasy uncovered by Lifton was that of the German nation as an organism that could succumb to an illness. Lifton cites Dr. Johann S. who spoke about being "doctor to the Volkskorper (‘national body’ or ‘people's’ body)." National Socialism, Dr. Johann S. said, is a movement rather than a party, constantly growing and changing according to the "health" requirements of the people's body. "Just as a body may succumb to illness," the doctor declared, so "the Volkskorper could do the same."
When Lifton asked another doctor, Fritz Klein, how he could reconcile the concentration camps with his Hippocratic Oath to save lives, he replied "Of course I am a doctor and I want to preserve life. And out of respect for human life, I would remove a gangrenous appendix from a diseased body. The Jew is the gangrenous appendix in the body of mankind." Lifton mentioned this phrase "gangrenous appendix" to another Nazi, Dr. B., who quickly answered that his overall feeling and that of the other Nazi doctors was that "Whether you want to call it an appendix or not, it must be extirpated (ausgerottet, meaning also "exterminated," "destroyed," "eradicated").
Goebbels put it this way: "Our task here is surgical; drastic incisions, or some day Europe will perish of the Jewish disease." Hans Frank, General Governor of Poland during the Nazi occupation, called Jews "a lower species of life, a kind of vermin, which upon contact infected the German people with deadly diseases." When the Jews in the area he ruled had been killed, he declared that, "Now a sick Europe will become healthy again."
Finally, on February 22, 1942, Hitler made the following astonishing statement: "The discovery of the Jewish virus is one of the greatest revolutions that have taken place in the world. The battle we are engaged in is of the same sort as the battle waged during the last century, by Pasteur and Koch."
Ducking Reality: Administration Goes to Rhetorical Extremes on Terror Attacks
Could this argument be any dumber? The Obama administration has forced America and much of the world into a debate no one wanted or needed. Namely, does Islamic terrorism have anything to do with Islam.
This debate is different than the much-coveted "national conversation on race" that politicians so often call for (usually as a way to duck having it), because that is a conversation at least some people want. The White House doesn't want a conversation about Islam and terrorism.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says, "We have chosen not to use that label [of radical Islam] because it doesn't seem to accurately describe what happened."
What happened was the slaughter last week at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The sound of the terrorists' gunfire was punctuated by shouts of "Allahu akbar!" and "We have avenged the prophet Muhammad!"
Since no one questions the sincerity of these declarations, that alone should settle the issue of whether Islam had anything to do with the attack. And for normal people it would.
The problem is that the White House's position is categorical denial. It is not that the role of Islam in such attacks is exaggerated. Nor is it that these attacks should not be used to disparage more than a billion peaceful Muslims around the world. These are mainstream and defensible positions.
But, again, that's not what the White House is saying. It is saying that one should not associate these attacks with the word "Islamic," no matter what adjective you hang on it -- radical, extreme, perverted, etc. -- even when the murderers release videos attesting to their faith and their association with Islamist terror groups.
By taking this radical and extremist rhetorical approach, the Obama administration invites people to talk about Islam more, not less.
Think of it this way. A bird waddles into the room. It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck, it gives off every indication of duckness. If Josh Earnest says, "That's not a mallard," well, OK. You can have a reasonable conversation about which species the bird might be. But if Earnest says, "That is not a duck. It has no relation or similarity to anatine fowl in any way, shape or form, and any talk of ducks is illegitimate"
Well, now we have a problem. Such rhetorical extremism almost forces people into an argument about what a duck is. Likewise, by denying the role of radical Islam, they invite sane people everywhere to focus more, not less, on Islam.
There are, of course, many problems with this analogy. The most important one is that ducks cannot talk. They cannot say, “Look, I am a duck.”
Terrorists can talk. And they do. They also form organizations with magazines and websites and Twitter accounts. They issue manifestos. They recruit in mosques. When we capture them alive, they demand Qurans and pray five times a day, bowing toward Mecca.
You know who else can talk? Non-extremist Muslims. And millions of them routinely refer to the bad guys as radical Islamists and the like.
I could go on, but you get the point — if you don’t work at this White House.
The Obama administration seems to believe that the wonder-working power of their words can get everyone to stop believing their lying eyes and ears. It’s tempting to ask, “How stupid do they think we are?” But the more relevant question is, “How stupid do they think the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are?” Whatever appeal the Islamic State may or may not have in the larger Muslim world, Barack Obama insisting “it is not Islamic” surely makes no difference whatsoever. And as for the jihadists, it’s not like his words speak louder than his drone strikes.
It’s true that the Obama administration has had remarkable success playing word games. They “created or saved” millions of jobs — as if that was a real economic metric. (For what it’s worth, I do or save 500 pushups every morning). They decimated “core al-Qaeda,” with the tautological definition of “core al-Qaeda” being “the parts of al-Qaeda that we have decimated.”
But this is different. Those distortions were political buzzphrases intended for domestic consumption and a re-election campaign. This is a much bigger deal. The threat of Islamic extremism transcends Obama’s theological hubris and lexicological shenanigans. All that Obama’s insipid rhetorical gamesmanship does is send the signal to friend and foe alike that he can’t or won’t see the problem for what it is.
Leftmedia Self-Censors to Appease Violent Islamists
The Leftmedia’s resolve to uphold the freedom of speech buckled this week as, one by one, television news stations reported on the latest Charlie Hebdo edition featuring a weeping Muhammad but did not show the cover. (We haven’t shown the cover for the simple reason that it’s lousy and even phallic.)
NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” told its viewers what to think of the image that they didn’t show, describing the front page as “a triumph for free speech.” SkyNews went so far as to reprimand a writer for Charlie Hebdo when she tried to show the image during a live interview. As she held up the paper, the station cut away and the anchor said, “We at SkyNews have chosen not to show that cover, so we’d appreciate it, Caroline, not showing that.” He continued, “I do apologize, for any of our viewers who may have been offended by that.”
CNN digressed even further when its religion editor, Daniel Burke, compared the Muslim communities in France to the community in Ferguson, Missouri. “There is a prevailing feeling in France among many Muslims that they are not treated as part of the state at large,” Burke complained. Pandering to violent extremism is only one sign that our culture’s moral fortitude has begun to decay.
Don't Get Sick in Canada! Wait Times Grow Even Longer
The Doctor Will See You in 18.2 Weeks
An updated report by a Canadian think tank documents long waits for necessary medical care in Canada's government-run, single-payer health care system. Canada’s single-payer health system is frequently touted as a model for the United States to follow.
According to the report, by Bacchus Barua and Frazier Fathers of the Fraser Institute, Canadians wait for necessary medical treatments an average of 18.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and the time the patient receives treatment from a specialist. Barua and Fathers surveyed specialist physicians across 10 provinces and 12 specialties and found the average wait time is 96 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.
“Canada rations through long waiting times and limited access,” said Dr. Roger Stark, a health care policy analyst at the Washington Policy Center and a retired physician. “These long waits would not be acceptable to Americans who are rightly accustomed to timely health care.”
The Fraser report was the 25th annual report on wait times in Canada.
Variation in Waits
The wait times reported by Barau and Fathers are median waits, meaning half of the patients are seen in less than the reported time while half are seen in more than the reported time.
The report found a great deal of variation between provinces in the total wait times patients face. Ontario has the shortest total wait, 14.1 weeks, followed closely by Saskatchewan with an average wait of 14.2 weeks.
At the other end of the spectrum, patients in New Brunswick have the longest wait at 37.3 weeks, with Prince Edward Island reporting waits of 35.9 weeks and Nova Scotia patients wait 32.7 weeks.
Wait times also varied by specialties. The longest wait is for orthopedic surgery, 42.2 weeks, while neurosurgery patients wait an average of 31.2 weeks. Cancer patients have relatively short waits, only 3.3 weeks for medical oncology and 4.2 weeks for radiation oncology. Elective cardiovascular surgery patients wait 9.9 weeks.
Barua told Health Care News Canadian taxpayers are funding a very expensive system that is failing to deliver timely access to health care for patients in need of medically necessary treatment.
“Wait times have become a defining feature of Canada’s health care system, and they can have serious consequences,” said Barua. “For example, they may force some patients to endure months of physical pain and mental anguish, they may result in lower worker productivity and forgone wages, they can sometimes result in a potentially treatable illness being transformed into a debilitating permanent condition, and in the worst cases they may result in death.”
Wait Lists Growing
According to Dr. Barua, it’s easy to understand what hasn’t caused waiting times to soar from 9.3 weeks in 1993 to 18.2 weeks in 2014.
“It clear that it is not likely due to insufficient funding, as health care expenditure per capita increased about 51 percent (after adjusting for inflation) during the period,” said Barua. “We also currently have one of the most expensive universal health care systems in the world – we’re just not receiving commensurate value in return.”
Barua points to the nature of single-payer health care as the cause of the waits. “The necessity to ration health care through wait times essentially results from an basic imbalance between demand and supply -- a situation that is a product of the government monopoly on the financing and delivery of core medical services, the lack of appropriate incentives for providers, and the absence of means-tested cost-sharing for patients,” explained Barua.
Dr. John Dale Dunn, an emergency physician and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, identifies the bureaucratic nature of Canadian health care as a source of the problem.
“The reason this happens is that a province gets a global budget which is arbitrarily set by bureaucrats with no effort made to respond to what people need,” Dunn said. “The people in control of this money know they must spend everything, but not go over the budget, so they do this by restricting access.”
Dunn described how the incentive for bureaucrats is to treat less-serious cases ahead of patients with more serious medical issues in order to avoid going over budget.
“Say you need an operation, you are by definition in the Canadian system defined as an outlier,” explained Dunn. “You are going to have to bang on the door to get any treatment. So what they do is fill their beds with people who don't have exotic care and this restricts access,” for patient with expensive and complex medical needs.
“This is indirect rationing -- it's the kind of thing that is bound to happen with global budgets,” Dunn said. “Almost 30 years ago, I started to see doctors leaving Canada because they were disgusted with the system because it prevented them from treating patients.”
U.S. Single Payer Advocates
Despite the continued problem of long waits for needed medical care, as well as the recent abandonment of a single-payer health system by longtime proponent Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont, there remains some support in the U.S. for moving towards a completely government-financed health system.
The New York State Assembly’s health committee will hold a hearing tomorrow, January 13, on Assembly Member Richard Gottfried’s (D-Manhattan) legislation to adopt single-payer health care in the state of New York. Gottfried chairs the health committee.
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Posted by JR at 1:33 AM