Category: health

Zika Virus

Zika By State
Zika By State

So, how do you fight the Zika virus? Stay away from Brazilians.

The first recorded case of the Zika virus in Georgia was not from mosquitoes sneaking across the Georgia – Florida state line on I-95, it was from a woman who had sex with a man from Brazil.

The effort against the Zika virus has erupted into another partisan political fight. Obama insists that he needs $1.9 Billion to fight the virus, and the Congressional Republicans are taking their good time in approving the request.


First, the Congress is just doing its job. If the Congress does not investigate budget requests, then they are derelict in doing their job. That’s why we send our Congressional Reps to Washington.

Second, the Federal Government has unspent money allocated previously for the Ebola virus scare. Congress suggested that Obama use that pool of cash of $600 Million while his $1.9 Billion request was investigated. This is nothing more than due-diligence on the part of the Republicans.

The Zika virus seems to be another crisis to be milked. The long established pattern is to take a seemingly urgent situation, scream that it is an absolute emergency, and then force the Congress into allocating money not only to “fight” the emergency, but to fund other programs that would never get funded in the light of an ordinary budget bill.

Remember climate change, carbon taxes, and the EPA forcing power companies and mining companies out of business? This is the same sort of made-up emergency. There may be a grain of truth at the bottom, but the history of Stalin and Hitler tell us that the most powerful propaganda has only a grain of truth. All else is manufactured.

The available $600 Million from the Ebola-scare program is more than enough to take care of whatever near-term things we can do. Besides, the real fight against Zika is on the local government level. Cities, counties, and states have to spray, and eliminate local habitats of the insect. What will the Feds do, buy a billion cans of bug spray? Ridiculous!

The proposed research programs for the CDC are not near term projects. They are all long term, and will take months to get going. So, why is the whole $1.9 Billion needed immediately?

It’s  not!

The Ebola-scare money is more than enough for a great start against the Zika-scare emergency. The money is there, and now is the time to put it to good use. Waiting a couple of weeks for the Congress to do its job is not a big deal.



Does Global Warming Cause Ebola?


Global warming does not cause the spread of ebola. However, it is only a matter of time until some shallow-minded person makes that allegation. Like most global warming stuff, it is an attempt to confuse the public.

picture of person sneezing
A Little Sneeze Goes A Long Way

Now that I have put the ebola/global warming thing to rest, I must report reading a blog by a noted climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Dr Spencer is most famous for being one of the scientists to figure out how to measure the earth’s temperature from satellites. His methodology gives more consistent readings than the old surface thermometer readings. The surface thermometer readings are subjected to several adjustments, some of which are controversial, and these adjustments result in large errors. Satellite readings have none of these problems.

Dr Spencer’s article is titled, “How Safe Is The Air You Breathe On A Plane?” The results are disturbing. Dr Spencer made some “unscientific” measurements to find out how much carbon dioxide is in an airplane’s cabin air that people breathe. People exhale carbon dioxide and other things. It cannot be helped. Passengers will unavoidably breathe in this mixture of CO2 and moisture exhaled by others.

Dr Spenser used a handheld air-quality meter that measures the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the air on the plane. It registered 1,600 ppm (parts per million), whereas the ambient concentration of CO2 in the outside air is closer to 400 ppm. This means that the air on a plane is in large part “used” air. You are breathing air other people have breathed, and exhaled, resulting in an elevated CO2 mix.

The problem is that you may be breathing the other stuff, too. There is undoubtedly some spit-swapping happening on an airplane. EEWWW!

Is it time to wear those face masks we saw the Chinese wearing to ward off SARS?

Understand that nothing I have said is supported in studies about health on airplanes.

Just saying…

Were There Really 46 Million Un-Insured?

The short answer is no, not at one time. The really distressing thing about the estimates of people who did not have health care insurance is that the numbers have all been exaggerated.

Where are the plus and minus figures? Any study based on surveys must reveal the possible error  of that survey. Like, plus or minus 5 percent, or 15 percent. Why doesn’t the Kaiser Family Foundation and the US Government publish those number? It’s because they don’t want the public to know how loosey-goosey their numbers really are.

Please understand that I am not trying to minimize the problems a family can have without adequate healthcare insurance. I have certainly been in a situation without a job, depending on my  wife’s job for healthcare coverage. Many people have not been as fortunate as I.

However, it is vexing that all these phony numbers get bandied about, and nobody in the press or academia will publicly question them. It doesn’t take a genius to do this, but it is not politically correct to go against the liberal, big money foundations and government agencies.

This whole non-insured thing started with estimates with about 22 million Americans not having health care insurance. Then came a study that said 49 million Americans did not have health insurance, but it was faulty because of the methodology. Liberal organizations sprang to help shore up that number.

The 46 million number being bandied about is 20 percent illegal aliens. Now, are you wondering what other lies Obama pushed to get his signature legislation passed?

Well, first, the surveys were only concerned if someone had been without healthcare for part of the year in the survey. In other words if somebody had been between jobs and had temporarily been without healthcare insurance, it was logged as a black mark against our healthcare system. There goes another 10 or 20 percent of the 46 million.

So, how many people between the ages of 19 to 24 didn’t have healthcare, and didn’t want it? How many married adults without children did not want insurance.

The problem is that some people need healthcare coverage who cannot currently afford it, for whatever reason. This number is much, much less that the 46 million trumpeted by the government and the press.

So, why not just give healthcare to those who just can’t afford it? Well, for Obama it is much too simple, and that approach would work where ObamaCare does not work.

That which is simple, equitable, and works is not what Barack Obama wanted. He wanted power, and that’s what he is getting.


Should We Legalize All Drugs?

I’ve always been a big fan of Milton Freedman, Nobel Laureate economist. One of his more controversial ideas was to legalize all drugs. His reasoning was that drug related crimes would pretty much stop, and the nation would save billions of dollars when not having to fight a war on drugs. See a Miltion Freedman video, here.

As Freedman illustrates, there are lots of good reasons to legalize the use of all drugs. It almost goes without saying that drive-by shootings would decrease to almost zero. Tax revenues would increase on the sale of these drugs. Our prison population, and the cost to maintain these people, would decrease significantly. He makes it sound like a win-win.


What happens to those who insist on using these drugs? How do we handle their addictions? Are we prepared to handle future addictions?

Now that my children are grown-up, I have another worry. I am concerned about my grandchildren. They are small people, right now, but someday they will go to high school and college. What problems will they face. Will it become really popular to use crack cocaine? Why not? Our President thinks it’s OK.

In my own smug way I always thought that others could make the mistake of wallowing in the addictions of drugs and alcohol. If others took themselves out of the job market, I would only profit. But, I never thought that we are all vulnerable to these problems with some at greater risk than others.

Right now, I have decided that legalizing all drugs could be a big mistake. I value my children and grandchildren. I am not so stupid to think that alcohol and marijuana are harmless. Only a fool would think that way.

How many potheads do you remember in school or your neighborhoods? Do you want your kids or grand-kids to be pot-stupid, too?

This is the future we face if we continue down this road of legalizing pot, crack, and other drugs.

Where will it end?

Good-Bye Good Health Care

On Christmas Eve I went to my local hospital emergency room with a condition called, Bell’s palsey. Bells palsy is manifested by a paralysis of one side of the face. In this case it is the right side, and it makes drinking, eating, and talking difficult. It is like having half your face desensitized with Novocain by your dentist.

You get the drools real easy.

A follow-up visit to a neurologist has resulted in the order for an MRI to investigate if there are other problems. You see, I had the same problem on the left side of my face about seven years ago. The operating theory now is that this may not be a coincidence.

I get my MRI tomorrow at 1:00 PM. If I were living in Canada, or God forbid, depending on the public health care sector of the United Kingdom, I wouldn’t get that MRI for months.

From the Telegraph, “The NHS in England had 6 MRI machines per million population in 2010, with figures across Britain putting the country below the Slovak Republic, Turkey, Estonia and Ireland in a league table of provision.”

By contrast, the United States had about 26 MRI machines per million population in 2007. This does not include the ubiquitous CT Scanning machines that you find in virtually every hospital, and some doctors offices here in the USA.

My point is that it took about three days to schedule an MRI for my brain scan, and two of those days were over the weekend. That wouldn’t have happened in the UK, or in Canada. Well, if you are rich maybe there’s a way around the rules that the peasants over there have to obey.

I could go into the legions of studies that were done in the last decade that showed that the USA health care system was 49th in the world, but this one blog does not allow the space and time for that.

Let it be known, that now we have Obama Care ripping hundreds of billions of dollars from senior care (Medicare) to pay for indigent insurance, the death rates will rise significantly as the government rations health care to the elderly.

The overall quality of health care in this nation will go down. I guess the Canadians will stop coming over the border for a visit, now.

A New Christmas Tradition?

According to my son-in-law, it is our family tradition to not let a Christmas season go by without a hospital visit by someone. He is exaggerating, of course, but this year it was me. As a matter of fact, I had a kidney removal the December after he joined our family. He also had to escort my niece to the emergency room on another Christmas.

This year, on Christmas Eve at one o’clock in the afternoon, I drove myself to the local hospital emergency room for treatment. For the second time in my life I had contracted Bell’s palsy, a malady which manifests itself as an attack on the nerves that control the facial muscles. In a few hours I went from being a relatively handsome, distinguished man to looking like the latest iteration of Frankenstein.

With Bell’s palsy, exactly one-half of the muscles in your face go limp. The disease strikes one side of the face or the other, and it looks like half your face is sliding off, giving one’s visage a grim, sneering look. It ain’t pretty.

After an examination by Dr Malcolm, and a CT Scan to make sure I had not had a stroke, I was released into the wild with a couple of prescriptions. It seems that corticosteroids are the primary treatment for the palsy, and that is to relieve the inflammation.

That’s all they gave me for a multi-thousand dollar emergency room visit. So, I endeavored to assist the medical profession by adding to the effort, and stopped by a local liquor store.

That’s when I discovered Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey. Those of you who keep up with the Moonshiners program on the History Channel know of whom I speak. Popcorn Sutton was a (almost) world-famous moonshiner in Tennessee. He swore he would never go to prison, and when the Federal revenuers finally got him, he committed suicide rather than spend most of the rest of his life in jail.

Popcorn’s whiskey was reputed to be some of the best moonshine, ever, and after his death was put into commercial production.

I was anxious to try the 93 proof nector of the cornstalk, and was rewarded with something totally unexpected. The stuff is as clear as water (White Whiskey), very little aroma, and a delicate, lingering taste reminiscent of Johnson’s Floor Wax. I had to read the label, again, to make sure I had the right stuff.

Between my diligence in going to the emergency room, and Popcorn Sutton, I think I am going to beat this Bell’s palsy thing. I just hope that neither emergency rooms or moonshine will become a Christmas tradition.

New Ad Campaign for Obama Care

picture of Burma Shave advertising signs
Burma Shave Signs – Wikipedia

For those of you who were born in the south in the early to mid-twentieth century, you will remember the famous bill board advertising campaigns of Burma Shave, Rock City, Ruby Falls, etc.

This was before the limited access interstate highway system when farmers could rent out the sides of their barns to let advertising companies paint their messages for all to see. What a trip down memory lane.

picture of bird house with Rock City on it
Rock City Ad on Birdhouse

Since our President is having a tough time selling his signature health care insurance program, I thought I would do some out-of-the-box creative stuff and help the Prez out a little.

Barry Baby needs to have his own Burma Shave type sign campaign, and here I offer a few example slogans to help put some lipstick on that pig called, Obama Care.

As you drive along
Life’s dreary highway
If you need help
Get ready to pay

Check your underwear
Make sure there’s no stain
If you crash your butt
You get nothing but pain

When times are tough
He’s got your back
Just watch your wallet
‘Cause that’s his knack

Check yourself
Before you wreck yourself
If you do
You’re in the poo
(hat tip to police chief David Oliver, Brimfield Ohio, and his Tweet vis-a-vis Kanye West)

Well, that’s my effort for the day. What would your signs say?

My Scrape With Modern Medicine

Forget Obama Care. There are more serious things out there, and any one of them will make you thankful for any kind of medical care if you are unlucky enough to have those problems. Those problems revolve around critical organs like kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, brains, etc. Well, some people have no problem getting along without a functioning brain, but I digress.

During my physical examination this last March, my EKG looked a bit out of the normal (what ever that is), and my personal physician recommended a stress test.

Two weeks later, I was in my doctor’s office for that stress test which I apparently flunked. My return visit, two weeks after the stress test culminated in the recommendation for a nuclear stress test. A nuclear stress test includes some stuff tainted with radio-active isotopes, injected into my veins while I was monitored by all sorts of paraphernalia.

Two weeks later, I was told I had flunked the nuclear stress test. I guess this was supposed to be a foregone conclusion, but I figured out that if there were an emergency, somebody would have called me. This time, my doctor tells me to go to a cardiologist.

After another two weeks, I went to see the cardiologist. It only took that long because I figured nothing was wrong, and the cardiologist was just CYA for the internal medicine guy. Besides, if anything were wrong somebody would have called me.

The first question the cardiologist asked me after reviewing my records was, “Why are you here?”

Ahhh…  Those words were nice to hear. Nevertheless, the cardio guy sent me to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta for a coronary CT Scan. This is a regular CT scan, but involves being injected with a dye so that the images will be more pronounced. I queried the cardiologist at Piedmont about the risk of the dye on my one remaining kidney. It was possible for the dye to destroy my kidney, and I didn’t look forward to being on dialysis for the rest of my life.

He tested my blood on site to see if my kidney could handle the test. He also told me that he could not assess the real risk, and I had to sign an additional waiver for them to run the test. Death, as usual, was a potential result of the test.

One and one-half weeks later…

Yeah. I put off hearing about the test for a while. Besides, if there were something wrong somebody would call me. My cardiologist later told me that was not a good idea. I needed to pay more attention.

That’s when he told me that the tests for coronary artery disease were false. My testing had been a false positive. In the world of statistics, my tests resulted in a Type I error, a false positive.

I am very fortunate. Many men of my age have coronary artery disease, and some of those guys fall dead without warning. I am glad my doctors paid such close attention, and had me take confirmatory tests. It was all worth it.

Oh, and I will not wait for the doctor’s office to call me with test results, anymore. I will pester them on the idea that I just might have a problem that needs prompt attention.

Keep Your Plan, The Man Says

I got that one right. Pundits say that this is the death knell of Obama Care, but I think the man has a plan to get through this in spite of the current problems. The web site will be fixed, and all those government and insurance computer systems will eventually be able to talk to each other. It will not take that long to fix it, either.

OK. Now that people can keep their old health care policies, they probably will not be able to resurrect the old policies because of bureaucratic inertia in the state governments and the insurance companies.

So, let’s look at how Obama gains.

1. Barack Obama has taken steps to stop the political bleeding. He doesn’t give an old sock about people as long as he is worshiped, daily, in the press. He knows that his legacy depends on what he can force the press to say about his performance.

2. The Affordable Care Act may have problems paying for all those policies that sick people will buy, but once again, Obama doesn’t care. He doesn’ t hesitate to spend money on things that he wants.

3. The ACA will still be around, even though it racks up stupendous deficits. Once again, Obama doesn’t care.

Long after Obama leaves office, the ACA will have embedded itself into our society so deeply that we cannot get rid of it.

My opinion is that Obama wins.

The “Keep Your Policy” Strategy

I have some suggestions, and so do you. Our wishes with respect to this President will never come true. He will never get lost on the way to work; he will not get the slobbering snots from his kids; he will not succumb to our deadly TV stares; and he will not fade gracefully into history. President Obama is like a bad dream. We cannot get rid of him before his term is ended.

Where Obama will go is pretty clear. He will stay his course, defending the despicable Affordable Care Act until the very end, whatever that is. I envision him making only a few compromises. This is out of character for him, but it may come to pass,

The Affordable Care Act will be Barack Obama’s legacy, and the left-wing press will do everything they can to tell us that ACA is a resounding, historical success. The press has so much invested in Barack Obama that they cannot let his administration die the natural death it deserves.

If the Republican Party plays its cards right, they will take over the Senate in 2014. Given their propensity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, they may not make it.

In view of panicking Democrat Senators, there may be something happening, soon. Most likely, the Democrat Senators will suggest that Obama delay the individual mandate for some time. Bill Clinton has a better proposal.

Clinton suggests that Obama let people keep their existing health care policies. Whether Barack likes this or not, it is the best way out of a tough situation. Think about it.

If people get to keep their policies there will no longer be the hue and cry of lie, lie, lie addressed to the President. He will be viewed as contrite, and will even be forgiven for spending extra Billion$ to give millions of people free health care without having compensating funds on the income side of the ledger.

Free health care? Don’t you know that’s a real winner for the Democrat Party?

So, now you know the Big Plan. Free stuff for poor people and illegal aliens. What’s not to like about those votes?