Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Well, I did the drive yesterday -- from Cairns to Port Douglas. About 35 miles. For about half of the time the road runs right alongside the ocean, with beaches large and small scattered all the way along. It is one of the world's most scenic drives and the wonder is that you can stop at almost any of the many unspoiled beaches and find yourself alone there. If people like to go on vacation amidst crowds, good luck to them, but if you fancy the deserted tropical island experience with none of the inconvenience of a deserted tropical island, you should be booking a flight to Cairns International Airport. It's a longer plane journey than most but droves of the notoriously quality-conscious Japanese seem to think it is worthwhile.

I also spotted another pygmy yesterday. I was sitting on the pavement beside the main street of Port Douglas having a nice cup of tea when a very small dark person walked right by my table: Less than 5' tall with legs like broom-handles. There are obviously still plenty of negrito (pygmy) genes in the area that was until recently dense tropical jungle.



Socialized medicine from one who knows: "In 1970 I created the first NHS group practice in the South Kensington area. I believed in the NHS. I was a politically active member of the Labour Party. I was on the Inner London Local Medical Committee of the British Medical Association. I was the education secretary of the South London faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Within ten years, after a total of sixteen years working for the NHS, I was back in single-handed practice, exclusively in private practice... The philosophical ideas upon which the National Health Service is based are wrong. It is not lack of finance that has destroyed the NHS as an instrument of health care. Nor is it faulty organisational structure. Nor is it over-administration. It is the ideas that are wrong. Over a generation we have seen the provision of health care in the United Kingdom degenerate into a free and comprehensive rotten shambles".

This is an old story but it still illustrates the perils of a government medical service: "About 30 years ago, when I was in the navy, stationed in Charleston, S.C., navy "doctors" had a reputation for being "less than efficient" in most instances. This theory was born out when a friend of mine's wife, who had been pregnant while wearing an IUD, went to the Emergency Room of the Charleston Naval Hospital. She had been told that the IUD may have slipped into the womb, and may still be there, and could cause complications. She was told that if she experienced any of certain symptoms, i.e. rise in temperature, cramps, nausea, etc, to make it to the E.R. right away. Sure enough, one night, she experienced all of the symptoms and went straight to the E.R. The "doctor" who was on duty promptly took her record, without looking at it, moved it from the "in" box to the "out" box. Asking her what her problem was, he explained, "Well, you've got to expect these things when you're 5 months pregnant." She left the Naval Hospital, went straight downtown to the Charleston County Hospital Emergency Room, where she suffered a miscarriage, due to the IUD having been in the womb". (From Jerry Lerman).

Racist doctors? "The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published "Unequal Treatment," a much-heralded report arguing that doctors-- acting deliberately or unconsciously--were giving their minority patients inferior care.... Skeptics of the biased-doctor model, and I count myself among them, do not dispute the troubling existence of a health gap. But we argue that the examining room is not the place to look for its origins..... This argument just got a big boost from researchers at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Center for the Study of Health Care Change in Washington. They showed that white and black patients, on average, do not even visit the same population of physicians-- making the idea of preferential treatment by individual doctors a far less compelling explanation for disparities in health. They show, too, that a higher proportion of the doctors that black patients tend to see may not be in a position to provide optimal care. The dramatic finding, published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, should incite a fundamental shift in thinking. Whether it actually does that is another matter, so entrenched are the pieties about America's racist inclinations"

Long overdue: "Doctors cannot be arrested for properly prescribing narcotic painkillers that are the best treatment for millions of suffering patients, according to new guidelines from pain specialists and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The guidelines, written by leading pain specialists together with the DEA, come because many doctors hesitate to prescribe the powerful drugs, which are heavily regulated because they can be abused by addicts."



I don't expect that it is really any surprise to anyone but Jeff Jacoby gives details of how Arafat's PLO uses violence to suppress reporting of anything unfavourable to the Arabs. There is no free press where Arafat holds sway. Even Western journalists are routinely intimidated. Israel, by contrast, has all sorts of media outlets that are fiercely critical of the Israeli government. And the moron Left calls Israel "fascists" and "Nazis". It is clear who the real Fascists are.

"Contrary to widespread belief, it was more likely American voters in Israel, not Florida, who put George W. Bush in the White House four years ago.... Those who doubt that Americans living abroad could tip the balance in 2004 might consider this: Various chads aside, Al Gore received 202 more votes than George W. Bush on Election Day 2000 in Florida. Only after all the overseas votes were counted, including more than 12,000 from Israel alone, was Bush's election victory certified. The margin was 537 votes. In 2000, according to King, Israel was one of the keys to Bush's success. No other foreign country's U.S. citizens contributed more to Bush's narrow Florida victory, he said.... Once in Israel, Zober said, Jewish voters are no longer guided by a presidential candidate's position on domestic issues. Instead, he said, they vote for whoever they think will serve Israel's interests."

Australian philosopher Rafe Champion has a good slapdown for the whine by cultural elites that they do not get nearly as much recognition as elite sportsmen do. Excerpt: "The so-called cultural elites who are subjected to criticism are not generally cultural performers, they are left-wing intellectuals and commentators. For the most part they have not achieved excellence by any objective standard and they are not railed against in those aspects of performance where they have achieved excellence. Cultural performers who take on the role of left-wing commentators are likely to attract criticism on specific points, but not on account of their achievements in their own fields". More here.

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH and GUN WATCH. Mirror sites here, here and here


Leftists acclaim "diversity" yet say "All men are equal". Figure that one out.

Why can those who claim to understand the dangers of meddling with a complex ecosystem like the natural environment, not understand that government interference with a complex system like the economy is perilous too?

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause

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