Monthly Archives: December 2010

Where do people go for the best health care?

You already know the answer, of course.  But this story of a Canadian mother of two with a rare bone cancer highlights a number of fun little things, both mentioned and not by ABC news.

First, there’s the misdiagnosis by the Canadian Department of Awesome Medical Care (or whatever it’s called).

The first warning sign for Ollson was severe back pain that came on during her first pregnancy that made it impossible for her to work by the end of her pregnancy. The pain lessened after her daughter was born but started up again years later when she became pregnant with her son.

Doctors found nothing wrong with her and although she was desperate for relief, there was nothing more that could be done, or so she was told.

“I went back home feeling very alone and misunderstood,” she told the Winnipeg Free Press. “I didn’t think people believed me. I knew it was a whole lot worse than anyone thought.”

In February 2007, after months of suffering with no relief, Ollson had had enough. She had her husband, Daryl, take her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with pregnancy sciatica, a form of back pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Now, the ABC story doesn’t go in to detail about how many years she went without a diagnosis, but it looks like it took months to get the MRI.  Maybe had the cancer been diagnosed earlier, she wouldn’t have needed to come to the United States for treatment.

The article does go on to insinuate this cancer is very hard to diagnose, but then the Doc they interview lays this out there:

Rapp did not treat Ollson, but notes that of the patients he has seen with chondrosarcoma, none has had such a large area affected by the cancer.

Again, making me wonder if Canadian free health care is all that great.  So of course, she had experimental surgery in the hotbed of medical innovation… wait.  Did the Mayo Clinic move?

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Cribs

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is banning drop side cribs, a product that has been on the market for decades. 

Why?

Because 3.2 children per year die in incidents related to the cribs.  The CPSC isn’t clear on how many of those 3.2 deaths are also associated with an idiot caretaker who probably would have killed the child anyway.

If the cribs were really that dangerous, wouldn’t people just stop buying them? 

The cost to just the day care industry:  $550 million.  If the life of a crib is 10 years, the cost to just day care centers is more than $17 million per potential life saved, assuming a 10 year lifespan of a crib, and assuming the deaths were actually due to the cribs, and not an idiot operating the crib.

I don’t want to sound harsh, but is that really worth it?  Doesn’t the marketplace already solve this problem?


Ready

Are you ready for 2011? 

I am.

New Job

During my company’s recent reorganization, I was promoted(?) to a new role.  I now manage service operations for the Maryland and Northern VA market, 7 direct reports and about 100 total reports.  It’s going to be a pretty big change for me, as it’s been ten years since I managed people.  It’s also going to be a different pace.  In my old role, I could pretty much manage how quickly things had to get done, it was more strategic.  The new role, because of the scope and responsibility will require quick decisions.  I think I’ll like it, and I’m looking forward to having a great year.

I will have to adjust to being more available and more visible during normal business hours, so there will be less working from home and less flexibility in my schedule.  It was bound to happen.

Training

My foot is pretty much healed, I can walk normally and can run if I must.  I’m going to be out of town for a bit, so I’ll be back to training after the new year – probably the weekend of the eighth.  I think because of the new role at work, I will change my schedule around and train early in the morning two weekdays and train in the morning of both weekend days.  I’ve tried that in the past and it didn’t work out, but I want to give it another go before I go back to training in the evenings. 

I’m not happy about having missed so much time again, but that’s how it goes.  I’m mentally prepared to get back after it, and I’ll post something soon about my plan to get my fitness back and start making progress again. 

Wine

Heading to Napa.  Can’t wait!

Writing

I committed to writing a lot this year, and may have over extended myself given my new role.  I’m going to try to keep up with my blog, as well as The Grand Crew and Bleacher Report.  But there may be longer gaps in posts as I figure out how to balance things and what my priority will be.

I hope everyone has a safe and healthy start to the new year!


Leaked Memo from TSA to FBI

Not sure how wikileaks didn’t catch this one.

Via Popehat


One Argument Down

The Maryland Comptroller’s office finds kids aren’t really interested in buying wine on the internet.

But minors generally were not interested in abusing a direct-ship system to get an illegal fix, said Joseph Shapiro, spokesman for the comptroller’s office.

“Their number one concern is immediacy,” Shapiro said. “Your parents are going out of town this weekend, let’s have a party, that type of thing. With direct ship, the shipment just takes too long.”

And law enforcement agencies in states that allow direct-ship reported that wine is not the alcohol of choice for most underage drinkers.

“They’re more apt to be drinking beer or wine coolers,” said Shapiro, also pointing out the price concern. “A bottle of wine online is certainly more expensive than a six-pack of beer from the local store.”

The report also concluded that direct shipment from out-of-state wineries to Maryland consumers would not hurt in-state providers, because purchases from wineries are mostly motivated by availability.

Go figure.  So the distributor lobby can’t argue that any longer.  Which leaves them with arguing that it will hurt their business (and protecting their revenue is more important than the right of the people to purchase a product however they see fit), and of course spending lots and lots of money to purchase the votes, or at a minimum the non action, of our illustrious state legislators.

Del. Tom Hucker, D-Silver Spring, says he is drafting a bill for the General Assembly session starting next month. “It’s terrific that the report debunks the myth that special interests have been spreading for years,” said Hucker, who introduced the bill in 2008 and 2009, and served as a co-sponsor in the last General Assembly. “I think the comptroller’s report only pushes the ball forward, farther than it has ever been. This is the year we can expect some movement.”

Hopefully he can get it past Joan Carter Conway.

Crossposted at The Grand Crew


The Constitution Simply No Longer Matters

From a the Washington Post article on the passage of the new food “safety” bill:

The measure also gives the Food and Drug Administration the authority to recall food; now, it must rely on food companies to voluntarily pull products off the shelves. And the bill would give the FDA access to internal records at farms and food-production facilities.

That, and that alone, makes the bill unconstitutional.  It’s not even debatable.

The 4th Amendment, for those of you who don’t remember:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And the Fifth:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

In what reading of those two passages does the FDA have any authority or power to force a company to recall a product or have access to the records of any company?


Government Logic

The internet has grown to an unimagined scope and reach over the last ten years.  It has done so with little to no regulation, interference, or support from the government.

So naturally, we need to keep it from getting worse by having people who don’t understand it regulate it.

The FCC acted out of fear that some isolated instances of telecommunications companies restricting access to phone and other services from competitors would become more frequent. And that could change the Internet for the worse, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

“What we were trying to head off is changes that would close the Internet, stifle the incredible innovation and investment that we’ve seen,” Genachowski said.

Our Government, solving problems that don’t exist yet by making sure something that has developed with no government regulation is finally now regulated.

*Sigh*


Drop this one on the next Statist you meet

Or better yet, the next regulator.  From Don Boudreaux

Proponents of government regulation insist that no institution is more critical to the U.S. economy than is the U.S. government.  So reason dictates that the same rules that apply to executives at the likes of Morgan Stanley should apply also to those who set and execute Uncle Sam’s policies.  Members of Congress and all top White House officials – including the President – should receive at least half of their pay in the form of ten-year bonds whose redemption values are structured to rise with decreases in the national debt and fall with increases in the national debt.


I don’t even know what to say

I turned on the local news the other night, and saw a helicopter shot of a deer that fell through ice and was trapped in the water.  Obviously a bad thing for the deer.  At the time, there were emergency vehicles on the scene, but no one was in the water working to free the animal.

While the authorities tried to figure out what to do, two dudes with an inflatable boat went in the water and rescued the deer themselves.

Naturally, they have been fined.

Firefighters and the natural resources officer advised the men not to go out on the water, particularly without life vests, Albert said.

But the men went out in their boat and freed the deer.

“We had oars and shovels to break the ice, for the deer to get out,” one of the men, Khalil Abusakran, told WJZ-TV at the scene.

He and the other man, Jim Hart, could not be reached for comment later. Hart told the television station that the natural resources officer did not warn him against the rescue attempt.

“And he didn’t say anything,” Hart told WJZ. “We went in and out of the water numerous times. He didn’t stop us at all.”

After the rescue, the natural resources officer issued them $90 citations for not having personal flotation devices on board. State law requires that all boaters have a personal flotation device with them at all times on any navigable body of water, though they are not required to wear them unless they are under the age of 16.

Albert said the men could have faced a stiffer charge: disobeying a lawful order.

“They could have been arrested and taken before a commissioner,” Albert said. “Our officer erred on the side of the least invasive action that he could take at the time.”

No.  The least invasive action would be to thank the two men and not issue any citation.  But government agents don’t like it when we don’t listen to them, and they like to show they still have the power.


Great Post

Boris at SquatRx has a birthday post up.

Read it.  Awesome.

And if you lift, you should regularly read his blog.


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