Monday, June 30, 2014

Random Stories

With the subtitle: Mostly bad news. The following headlines appeared in today's USA Today.
  • Economy shows new signs of weakness -- Well, for the regular people,the 99 percent of us who don't inhabit the realms of unreality where there is no such thing as not enough money to do any damn thing you want, this is not a great surprise. In fact, I would argue that the so-called "recovery" has not arrived for most of those millions brought low by the recession. The real question is whether it ever will.
  • Police: Boy's parents researched hot-car deaths -- A mom and dad in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, did some Internet research on child deaths inside of vehicles and the temperatures required for that to happen. Then the dad drives their 22-month old toddler to his job and leaves him locked in the SUV for 7 hours. The little boy died of hypothermia. The father claimed he "forgot" the kid was in the car. I don't know if there is a hell, but there ought to be. With a special place for people like this. 
  • Critical need for primary care providers -- Bottom line is U.S. because of population growth, more aging people, and the Affordable Care Act is expected to need 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 and we're going to fall far short. There are a number of issues including funding for medical residencies, the rising cost of med school, more lucrative specialty care fields, and the scope of practice laws (states have been slow in allowing PAs and nurse practitioners to take over services traditionally provided by physicians.) I think the only thing this country is going to have more of by 2025 is idiots and poor people. Everything else, we're going to fall short.
  • Ebola crisis now deadliest ever -- When does good news come out of Africa? The crisis in western Africa is the worst ever and it's threatening to spread. 400 dead already. This Ebola virus is deadly. Causes high fever, vomiting, muscle pain, diarrhea and can lead to massive internal bleeding and organ failure. It kills 90 percent of its victims. It's spread by simple contact with victim's (human or animal) fluids, tissues, or blood. Traditional African burial rituals, suspicion of foreign doctors, and just plain ole ignorance are not helping in the fight.
  • Iraqi insurgents announce new Islamic state -- This Al-qaeda breakaway bunch (ISIL--Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant--they left because Al-qaeda wasn't radical enough) has overrun parts of Syria and northern Iraq. They say they are now a new Islamic caliphate. I guess we'll have to see, but another piece on the editorial page that asks "If the U.S. is going to re-engage, it should do so with the means to win." sends chills up my spine. Can anyone in their right mind think what we should do is get entangled in that shit again?
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