Clinic in Bendigo has had no Doctor to Perform an Abortion for more than a Year

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

You can take a horse to water.  But you can’t make it drink.  That’s kind of how it is in Bendigo with abortions.  The state will offer the service.  But they can’t find a doctor to actually do the abortion (see Abortions not performed in Bendigo for more than a year – The Age posted 3/17/2013 on Bendigo Hub).

Bendigo’s abortion clinic has been effectively shut for more than a year because doctors are refusing to offer terminations.

Women in the state’s north-west have been denied local access to publicly funded abortions since the only clinician willing to perform the procedure quit Bendigo Health’s Choices clinic early last year. The hospital has tried to recruit a new obstetrician or gynaecologist, but each doctor has turned down the role because they are ”conscientious objectors”.

Women can access counselling and information at the clinic but are being forced to travel to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne for abortions…

Marilyn Beaumont, chairperson of the Australian Women’s Health Network, called on Bendigo Health management to show leadership. ”There is a community group that is aligned with Right To Life that exercises a great deal of influence on the health service but that should not stop the proper leadership for the provision of the full range of sexual reproductive services … in that area,” Ms Beaumont said.

An interesting problem.  Abortion is about a woman’s right to choose.  It’s about choice.  But to get that choice some are demanding Bendigo Health management do something about it.  And one wonders if they would go so far as to ask the state to force someone to perform abortions against their conscious.  Giving them no choice.  So these women can get their choice.

Choice is like that line in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  Where the one rule of Animal Farm states, “All animals are equal.  Only some animals are more equal than others.”  And so it is with choice.  For it may appear that some choice is more equal than others.  That a woman’s choice may be more equal than a doctor’s choice.  Or her unborn baby’s choice.

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Canada looking at Rationing Health Care for Senior Citizens to Reduce Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

Proponents of national health care in the U.S. have long pointed to Canada and said, “See?  That’s the way you do health care.”  While critics say national health care will only lead to longer wait times.  Poorer quality.  And rationing (see Health ministers look to cut back on pricey diagnostic tests by Adrian Morrow posted 3/15/2013 on The Globe and Mail).

The provinces are also looking at ways to cut back on pricey diagnostic tests and surgeries such as MRIs, knee replacements and cataract removals. After consulting with health-care professionals, they hope to draw up a series of voluntary guidelines, to be presented this summer, on when such procedures are necessary and when they can be skipped…

The greatest cost pressure on the system, however, may be the demographic shift and the steady rise in the number of senior citizens requiring chronic care…

Most of the new model involves finding ways to keep seniors out of hospital. Ontario, for instance, is pumping money into providing more home care. Manitoba is looking toward preventive medicine. Saskatchewan is reviewing ways to improve long-term care. Nova Scotia has a system where paramedics treat some ailments in long-term care facilities to avoid tying up hospital beds.

Britain is also working on a way to keep seniors out of hospitals.  And they have a plan for those who do get into their hospitals.  If they’re really sick and need a lot of expensive health care.  They withdraw all medical care and nourishment.  They call it the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  Something that let’s really sick patients die with dignity.  Or so the program says.  Family members who lost a loved one because he or she was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway without their knowledge see it differently.  Some even have called it a death panel.  Because it results in more deaths.  Which helps the bottom line.

Obamacare will have some kind of death panel, too.  With bureaucrats being introduced into the medical decision-making process.  Who will consider the bottom line when making their decisions.  And one thing that helps the bottom line in national health care is death.  For dead people don’t need pricey diagnostic tests, surgeries, MRIs, knee replacements and cataract removals.

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The US without Obamacare is in the same Financial Mess as the UK who already has the NHS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The British Empire ruled the world for a century or more.  And they did that with representative government.  Capitalism.  And free trade.  Making the empire very wealthy.  And strong.  Allowing it to rule the world.  The devastating costs of World War I pretty much put an end to that.  And after World War II they nationalized health care.  With the NHS.  And some industries.  Becoming a social democracy.  Like much of Europe.  Labor strikes and power outages were so common in the Seventies they called it the British disease.  It was difficult to see the greatness that was once the British Empire.  The great nation that modernized the world.  Farming advances.  Representative government.  The Industrial Revolution.  Capitalism.  The things that built the great nations of the world today.  Things you didn’t think about when you looked at Britain in the Seventies.  Lady Thatcher brought some of that greatness back.  Improved the economic well-being of the nation.  But it didn’t last (see Osborne must make tax open and honest by Matt Sinclair posted 3/17/2013 on The Telegraph).

The Government is still spending nearly half of our national income. No country has ever financed that except by imposing punishing taxes on families making quite ordinary incomes. The alternative of making the numbers balance by taxing the “one per cent” just isn’t grounded in reality. First, there aren’t enough of them. Second, they won’t sit around like obedient little cash cows, and placidly continue to invest in this country, as we confiscate their incomes or levy swingeing property taxes on their homes.

Then there is the longer-term problem of demographics. Everyone is worrying about economic growth in the next quarter. But as the population continues to get older, none of our leaders seems to be asking how we are going to pay for the big NHS and pensions bills that are likely over the next quarter of a century.

Public spending has already reached its limits: our levels (at 49 per cent of GDP in 2012, according to the OECD) are higher than those in Germany, and could soon eclipse those of Sweden. The extra pressure caused by an ageing population means the existing system is unaffordable.

Sounds familiar.  Currently total government spending in the U.S. at all levels of government is approximately 40%.  Government at every level is trying to raise taxes. Even on those making ordinary incomes.  The government talks about making those who can afford to pay more (the 1%) should pay more.  But there aren’t enough of them.  Even if you take everything they earn.  We have an aging population, too.  And we have a system that is unaffordable as well.  There is really only one difference between the UK and the US.  The UK has national health care.  They have the NHS.  While the US is working towards a national health care.  Starting with Obamacare.  Which means things will get far, far worse in the US.  Far worse than they are in the UK.  Especially with the US having five times the population the UK has.

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The Cyprus Bailout includes the Confiscation of People’s Personal Savings

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

President Obama isn’t worried about the deficit.  Or the debt.  Neither are Democrats.  Who see no problem with increasing federal spending even more.  Probably because there are Nobel Prize winning economists like Paul Krugman saying deficit spending is a good thing. Because what can possible go wrong with spending money you don’t have?  No doubt the very same things they were saying in Greece.  Italy.  And Cyprus (see Analysis: Cyprus bank levy risks dangerous euro zone precedent by Mike Peacock posted 3/17/2013 on Reuters).

A hit imposed on Cypriot bank depositors by the euro zone has shocked and alarmed politicians and bankers who fear the currency bloc has set a precedent that will unnerve investors and citizens alike.

After all-night Friday talks, euro finance ministers agreed a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout for the stricken Mediterranean island and said since so much of its debt was rooted in its banks, that sector would have to bear a large part of the burden.

In a radical departure from previous aid packages – and one that gave rise to incredulity and anger across Cyprus – the ministers are forcing the nation’s savers to pay up to 10 percent of their deposits to raise almost 6 billion euros…

The decision sent Cypriots scurrying to the cash points, most of which were emptied within hours. Most have been unable to access their bank accounts since Saturday morning, a move unlikely to engender calm…

A Cypriot bank holiday on Monday will limit any immediate reaction. The deposit levy – set at 9.9 percent on bank deposits exceeding 100,000 euros and 6.7 percent on anything below that – will be imposed on Tuesday, if voted through in parliament…

“I understand that electorates in Germany and northern Europe demand some sacrifice. However, when you accept a solution that basically expropriates 10 percent of deposits, you set a dangerous precedent,” Vladimir Dlouhy, former Czech economy minister and now international advisor for Goldman Sachs told Reuters in Berlin. “If we get into deeper trouble, God help us, they may try to take 50 percent.”

Ouch.  That’s what can go wrong with too much government spending.  And too much debt.  The government will just seize your money.  Scary.  Hearing stuff like this makes you pay a little more attention to that idea someone floated about the government expropriating 401(k) retirement accounts.  Taking our retirement money.  But being magnanimous enough about it to give us something valuable in return.  A promise to pay us a fixed retirement benefit.  Something as reliable and solvent as Social Security.  Preferably like it used to be.  Before they began forecasting it was going bankrupt.

So this is the downside to spending money you don’t have.  Bank runs.  As people pull their money out of our banks before the government can seize it.  Causing banks to fail.  Crashing the economy into a depression.  Just like all those bank failures in the Thirties caused the Great Depression.  But other than this there is little to worry about spending money you don’t have.

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Hugo Chavez is Dead but the Bizarre Conspiracy Theories live On

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The United Nations isn’t too happy about President Obama’s drone policy.  Killing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world.  As well as a few innocent bystanders here or there.  It smacks a bit of imperialism.  And it may be a little extralegal.  But apparently terrorists and innocent bystanders aren’t the only people President Obama is signaling out for special treatment.  What they call extreme prejudice in the covert ops business.  Apparently he’s looking at presidential candidates, too.  At least, according to Venezuela’s Maduro (see Venezuela’s Maduro accuses U.S. of “plot” to kill rival by Daniel Wallis posted 3/17/2013 on Reuters).

Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. President Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup ahead of an April 14 election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame the murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week. He blamed it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the claim as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday…

Capriles, who kicked off the opposition’s bid to drum up support with big rallies in the provinces over the weekend, said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.

No matter what you think about President Obama or his liberal use of drones to kill people this is a pretty outrageous claim.  First of all, the Left loved Hugo Chavez.  And they don’t come further left than President Obama.  He’s trying to take the United States in the direction of Venezuela.  So he wouldn’t kill the guy that wasn’t a socialist to foment chaos to bring down the one that was.  He would just do it to bring down the right-wing candidate.  If he did that sort of thing.  Which, of course, he doesn’t.  Unless Capriles was a member of an al Qaeda cell.  Or he had the misfortune of being too close to someone who was.  Then all bets are off.

I’m joking, of course.  It’s probably what Capriles said.  If anything happens to him to cause him to lose the election it will probably not be the fault of President Obama.  But the fault of the one who wins the election.  Who may use some campaign tactics that may be a bit extralegal.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

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