Archive for Old and Busted; New Hotness - page 2

Old and Busted: Obamacare Death Panels “Kooky Paranoia”; New Hotness: Obamacare Death Panels “a Good Idea”

Old and Busted: Obamacare Death Panels “Kooky Paranoia”; New Hotness: Obamacare Death Panels “a Good Idea”

Remember the good old days when the Affordable Care Act was being debated and President Obama was talking about how Grandma might not get that pacemaker or that expensive surgery because she’s too old?  Maybe we’ll just give her a pill instead?  And when opponents of the bill claimed that it would lead to “death panels” that would decide if  it was financially expedient to give a patient expensive treatments if they were near the end of their life?  And how those people were mocked as kooky paranoids?  Me too…good times, good times.  Anyhoo…in order to muster the votes to pass the bill (it passed by the barest margin with no republican votes – remember that the next time someone tells you there’s no difference between R’s and D’s) the “end of life counseling” provisions were removed.  But the dream lives on!  In the Politico article “Let’s Talk about ‘Death Panels’ – It’s Time To Revisit a Good Idea That Was Distorted By Demagoguery” Harold Pollack argues with what I’m sure are the noblest of intentions (eyeroll) that Sarah Palin and some other stupid heads ruined this “good” idea with all their kooky paranoid talk about how it would evolve into healthcare rationing and some people, i.e. the disabled or elderly wouldn’t be allowed treatments just to save money.  Like they do in Great Britain at the NHS.

Pollack blames Palin and other right wing ideologues for making this an issue, but it was none other than President Obama himself during what seemed like countless townhall meetings to sell the plan to the public, while making all kinds of promises would not promise that elderly Americans could receive all the treatments they want because “it might be cheaper to give them a pill”.  He also promised that if you liked your doctor or your health plan you could keep your doctor or your health plan.  We know how that worked out…the 2013 Lie Of The Year.  So you’ll excuse me if I’m skeptical that you won’t pull the plug on me or my loved one to save some money.

obamacare cartoon

 

Of course, the bigger scandal is that we’re having this discussion at all because the federal government is now involved in healthcare decsions that should be between you and your doctor.  But I digress…

Part of the issue is federal compensation to doctors for “end of life counseling”, which isn’t allowed under The Act.  However, I’m pretty sure everyone gets end of life couseling as a routine part of their treatment without a specific “end of life counseling appointment”. I have been involved in the end of life care for  family members and this has been the case every time.  The Act doesn’t prohibit communication with your doctor or limit what can be discussed.

After reading through all the romanticized anecdotes in Pollack’s article about dying with dignity and hospice, and how Americans with the most reason to worry about death panels are among the most vocal supporters of “Health Care Reform”, the conclusion is this – saving money isn’t the goal, it’s just a happy coincidence.  And as far as the end of life counseling goes, in my opinion the goal is to open the door to assisted suicide.  We’ll make you your own death panel – the Government didn’t pull your plug!  You did!  That’s even cheaper!  Your Welcome!

Hat Tip:  Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller

Old and busted: Second Hand Smoke Travels Through Walls! Must Be Stopped! New Hotness: Second Hand Smoke Travels Through Walls – Stop Whining About It!

Old and busted: Second Hand Smoke Travels Through Walls!  Must Be Stopped!  New Hotness: Second Hand Smoke Travels Through Walls – Stop Whining About It!

For what seems like decades now we have been warned about the danger of second hand smoke – not just the danger of wafting outdoor second hand smoke from the smokers exiled to their “areas” on the outskirts of society, but the just as deadly second hand smoke coming from inside your neighbor’s apartment or home.  The insidious tendrils of smoke are capable of wending their way through the smallest openings in the walls and creeping into your space where they can do their deadly deeds.  A man’s home may be his castle, but if you live next to a smoker’s castle you are within your rights to dictate that smoker’s behavior because his four walls give you no protection from that stinking scourge.  Of course, we’re talking about Tobacco smoke.  Cannabis smoke?  That’s Different!®

Just Google “second hand cigarette smoke apartments” – I’ll do it  – click here.  You get article after article explaining the health risks of your neighbor’s second hand smoke and advice on how to agitate your landlord to prohibit smoking completely in your complex, or even advice on how to take action against your neighbor smoking on his or her own property.  That is  – if they’re smoking the evil weed tobacco.  If they’re smoking pot – stop bugging us about it!  We can’t do anything because it’s legal.  Or so say the police in Colorado where recreational cannabis use was recently legalized.

I’ve said before that I don’t care if someone wants to smoke pot, especially if it’s legal where they live.  I also don’t care if someone wants to smoke cigarettes, which are legal everywhere last time I checked.  What I don’t like are double standards.  Sauce for the goose should be  sauce for the gander, and second hand smoke is second hand smoke.

 

Old and Busted: Candidate might have been a jerk in High School – Special Edition! New Hotness: Candidate helped child rapist beat the rap – Crickets!

Old and Busted: Candidate might have been a jerk in High School – Special Edition!  New Hotness:  Candidate helped child rapist beat the rap – Crickets!

It wasn’t that long ago we were treated to a media firestorm over possible gaffes Mitt Romney may have comitted 30 or 40 years ago.  There was in depth reporting over his behavior in Prep-School (that’s High School in case you’re wondering):  He might have been a bully!  Or that infamous family vacation where the dog’s crate was strapped to the roof of the car. Q’uelle Horreur!  Our diligent media was just doing their jobs, dont you know.  The public has a right to know what kind of person they might elect to the presidency.  Thank God we dodged that bullet and didn’t elect Romney with his binders full of women.  This Obama fellow is doing a smashing job.

Now we are finding out that Hillary Clinton once defended an accused child rapist, and through some borderline ethical conduct helped secure a plea bargain to a lesser offense resulting in the accused rapist receiving less than 1 year in jail.  Part of the borderline conduct involved proposed testimony attacking the girl’s credibility and claiming that the twelve year old victim bore some of the reponsibility for her own rape, and telling the prosecutor that they had an “expert” that would testify in court to discredit their forensic evidence.  This helped secure the plea bargain.  Then, a few years later when recounting the episode for a reporter, she laughed about her client’s obvious guilt and what a great job she did helping him beat the rap.  However, I am told, she did not put the victim “in a binder”.  The media’s interest in this story?  Zip, zero, zilch.  Why?  It’s old news.  Well so is the fact that you can save 15% on your car insurance, but that doesn’t stop Geico from running their commercials.

The rape trial was in 1975, and the incident recounted to a reporter in the mid-1980’s for an Esquire magazine article on rising politcal stars.  The reason you can’t remember it, other than the fact you might not have been born yet, is that the article was never printed.  The incident has received scant mention considering Clinton’s life and career have been so meticulously documented.  Hillary herself mentions it briefly in her first memoir Living History as an aside to to crediting herself with starting Arkansas’ first rape crisis hotline.  In 2008, Newsday journalist Glenn Thrush wrote a lengthy article about it – which his editors killed because “it might have an impact” on the election.  The tapes of the interviews and reporters notes from the original Esquire story ended up in the University of Arkansas Library archives where they were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon., and tht is how we are hearing about it now.

So if a Republican candidate may have been guilty of boorish behavior in the past, the media will leave no stone unturned in their quest to Bring Out The Truth®.  Because War On Women!  But if a Democrat candidate may have actually engaged in a war on women, well…*crickets*

Democrats – that (D) behind their names is like a damn kevlar shield with a teflon coating.  And it’s the mainstream media’s Kryptonite.

Old and Busted: Nixon Tapes Missing 18 Minutes! Impeachment! New Hotness: IRS Loses 2 Years of Lerner-White House Emails! Whoopsie! Accidents Happen!

Old and Busted: Nixon Tapes Missing 18 Minutes!  Impeachment!  New Hotness: IRS Loses 2 Years of Lerner-White House Emails!  Whoopsie!  Accidents Happen!

Back in the 70’s when Richard Nixon (R) nearly caused the universe to end by awkwardly covering up some political dirty tricks in the Watergate scandal, there was an episode where it was found that some taped recordings of Oval Office conversations between Nixon and some of the Watergate players contained an 18 minute blank spot.  Anyone familiar with 1970s technology of tape recording could conceive of a legitimate error possibly causing the blank, but foul play was immediately assumed.   This conclusion was most likely correct, and Congress and the public cut Nixon no slack at all.  When threatened with impeachment, Nixon resigned.

Today we learn that as the Congressional inquiry into possible collusion between the White House and the IRS to intimidate, harrass and persecute (and prosecute, for that matter) Republican and Conservative opposition groups, the IRS claims to have lost 2 years worth of e-mails between Lois Lerner and any groups outside of the IRS, such as the White House and Democrat Members of Congress.  But, hey, no big deal.  Accidents happen!  I mean, what big companies and organizations ever take precautions against things like this?  Certainly not the IRS!  Besides – we can trust Barack Obama (D).  See the (D)?  OK then.

Nothing to see here…Move along

You don't argue with an Aardvark

You don’t argue with an Aardvark

Old and Busted: White House outs CIA spook – TREASON! New Hotness: White House outs CIA spook – Oopsie! Accidents Happen!

Old and Busted:  White House outs CIA spook – TREASON!  New Hotness:  White House outs CIA spook – Oopsie!  Accidents Happen!

Remember back when Bush was President and during the whole Congessional Inquiry into the Iraq WMD kerfuffle, the name of Washington socialite CIA employee Valerie Plame was published in a news article, and the the Special Prosecutor spent two years going after Scooter Libby for it finally convicting him of something like inadvertently making a false statement?  Good times… anyhoo, turns out now that some of Obama’s folks just outed the CIA Chief in Afghanistan.  Oh well…sh*t happens.  Sorry about that.  Investigation? Special Prosecutor?  Nah… it was just a clerical error.  Besides – see that “D”?  That’s for Double Standard.  Also it’s a get out of jail card so just move along.  Why?  Because shut up that’s why.

They're just stupid that's all

They’re just stupid that’s all

 

Bonus:  Here’s one of the things you’ll find if you google “Sh*t Happens:  click this link to see it happening (not literally!)

 

 

 

 

Old And Busted: Pot Leads Kids On To Hard Drugs; New Hotness: Vaping Leads Kids On To Real Cigarettes

Old And Busted: Pot Leads Kids On To Hard Drugs;  New Hotness: Vaping Leads Kids On To Real Cigarettes

“it is not fair to our children to ask them to pay a potential price…for a hypothetical benefit to adult smokers.” In fact, he said, “it is egregious to suggest that we need to have kids do this in order for adults to quit.”

This is taken from the testimony of Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a Senate Hearing on Thursday May 15th, 2014.  It seems that among some health experts there is a fear that the use of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigs, or “vaping”) will encourage teenagers to smoke actual cigarettes.

All well and good – I suppose that’s why we have highly paid people working at places like The Office on Smoking and Health – to worry about things that hardly anyone else worries about.  I mean, things have a right to be worried about don’t they?  Hmmm…might have to think about that one.  Because there are some things that deserve to be worried over that aren’t getting the attention they deserve;  Specifically whether the liberaliztion and in some cases outright legalization of marijuana use might be encouraging teenagers to smoke –  not cigarettes, but marijuana.

As I have written before, I believe there are these two things taking place today, the “normalization” of marijuana use and the appearance of E-cigs as a smoking substitute and that they have obvious parrallels; and it is unfathomable to me that nowhere in the media or government do I see anyone connecting the dots.  Cigarette smoking is considered a public health issue, and deservedly so, though I do take some issue as to where the line is being drawn between regulation/prohibition and one’s personal freedom to chose.  You see, I’m pro-choice regarding cigarette smoking;  I’m also pro-choice regarding marijuana smoking.  What I do not understand is how all the worrying and hand-wringing about the ever so slight possible harm posed to children and teenagers by e-cigs does not in any way carry over into what I believe is the more likely potential harm caused to young people by increased marijuana use.  I don’t think anyone is arguing that there is no risk to young people associated with relaxed marijuana regulation – I just don’t think anyone’s talking about it at all.  To the extent there even is a debate, it is primarily whether legalization/increased use is better for adults or society as a whole.  Meanwhile there is frequent discussion nationwide over the looming threat posed by e-cigs, a threat so dire they should be banned.  Banned – instead of being hailed as a benefit to public health, which in my opinion they are.  Banned – also in my opinion, because they “look like” smoking, and are percieived a successful “end-around” of smoking regs by smokers.  And we can’t let the smokers win.

Since these public health “debates” always end up being about the best way for do-gooders to bully adults around because their behavior might possibly wound a precious child, can we at least invite marijuana to the witch trial?

This post inspired by an article I read at Reason.com

 

Old and busted: “smoking bad” New Hotness: “smoking good, vaping bad”

Old and busted: “smoking bad”             New Hotness: “smoking good, vaping bad”

There are two trends happening in society today the public perceptions of which seem at odds to me.  One is the appearance and increasing use of electronic cigarrettes, or e-cigs, which is portrayed in the media as bad and in need of regulation if not outright ban, and the other is the increasing de-criminalization and indeed in some cases legalization of marijuana which is  generally portrayed positively or  as a simple matter of personal freedom.

I must say that I do not understand the crusade against electronic cigarettes.  Anti smoking zealots have argued that the adverse health effects of smoking, not just for the smoker but for anyone in the vicinity via second-hand smoke (and currently for the entire environment because discarded cigarette butts are poisonous!) justified their vendetta against a legal product.  And the public at large has generally bought into this because no one likes the smell of cigarette smoke.  However…the advent of electronic cigarettes adresses every one of these issues – healthier for the smoker, no second hand smoke and no butts on the sidewalk.  Your dog is safe!  The anti smokers should be hailing this as a win-win:  Smokers get to smoke and no threats to non-smokers!  But that is not the case.  Smoking of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping” must be prohibited just like regular smoking because it looks like regular smoking.  And don’t forget the children.  Children might see someone vaping and try it themselves and then move on to the hard stuff – real cigarettes!  Another argument is that e-cigs contain nicotine, just like real cigarettes.  But there is no nicotine in the vapor for second hand effect, only the user is exposed.  Besides – other antismoking aids such as nicotine gum and patches also contain nicotine.  And both of these are arguably less safe for children as they could be extremely harmful if accidentally ingested by a child.   And finally, there is the uncertainty and over abundance of caution factor:  E-cigs might be bad and that’s a risk we can’t take.  

H8rs gonna H8

H8rs gonna H8

 

Now for the weed thing.  First, I am not a weed prude.  In my lifetime I have probably lost more weed in my couch cushions than any thirty something hipster today will ever smoke.  But I don’t smoke it any more and have no desire to.  Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  A very expensive t-shirt at that considering the money spent and time squandered on the habit.  But if you want to smoke it, knock yourself out.  Kind of like my attitude toward cigarettes real and electronic.  But there is a potential danger to marijuana smokers posed simply by the act of smoking a substance.  Marijuana contains no nicotine that I am aware of, but the absorption of nicotine is not the only danger of smoking, inhaling smoke of any kind is traumatic to the lungs and cardio-vascular system in general.  This is never mentioned in reporting on this subject.  Folks who are against liberalization of marijuana laws argue that it is a gateway drug that will lead users onto harder drugs.  Anectdotally I have seen this to be true, though not universally.  Such fears are rebutted with assertions that there is no evidence to support that stance.  So the risk that smoking pot might be harmful for some people is a risk we can  afford to take and abundance of caution is not justified in this case.  But consider this – in Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational pot use, the nascent pot industry is looking for ways to expand the customer base and to entice non users to try marijuana.  Granted, they seem to be sensitive about marketing to a youth audience but I don’t think that you can argue that marketing of cigarettes (or liquor for that matter) specifically aimed at adult audiences will influence children and that similar marijuana marketing will not.

"It's not just for stoners anymore"

“It’s not just for stoners anymore”

 

I guess I wonder why Vaping isn’t hailed as a breakthrough for public health and that marijuana legalization isn’t viewed with a little more caution or skepticism.  Perhaps I’m crazy – or is everyone else?  Or I’m straight and everyone else is stoned?  Whatever.  Personally, my attitude is live and let live.  You want to smoke?  Spark one up.  You want to vape?  Have at it.

 

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